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Clause 2 - Membership of the Commission

Part of Justice (Northern Ireland) Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:45 am on 25th March 2004.

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Photo of Rt Hon David Trimble Rt Hon David Trimble Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party 10:45 am, 25th March 2004

The Minister is arguing against himself. There is a huge contradiction in his argument. He started by saying that the creation of the sub-committee was the work of the commission and that we should trust the commission to carry out its functions. He then said that it would be wrong for a committee of perhaps only one person, to which the power to make certain appointments had been delegated, to report back to the commission as a whole, so that the other 12 might consider any decision. He thinks that that would be a bad thing. Either he trusts the commission or he does not. If he trusts the commission enough to enable it to delegate functions in that way, why does he not trust it to oversee those functions? There is a huge contradiction in his approach.