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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 John Spellar John Spellar The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office 10:45 am, 25th March 2004

I think not. If the commission thought that process had not been correctly conducted, it might be appropriate for it to do what the right hon. Gentleman describes. However, it has delegated those powers because it has confidence in the persons whom it has appointed to the sub-committee to make a judgment based on the interview, the information and the impression that they form of the candidates. The issue is not the integrity or the judgment of any member of the commission. The important point is

that those members of the sub-committee have been able to avail themselves of all the facts. The ability to delegate the relevant function to the sub-committee would indicate that confidence. I do not see that that is an abuse of process.