Westminster Proceedings - Northern Ireland Legislation

The Secretary of State signed an Order in Council on 14 October 2002 bringing the Northern Ireland Act 2002 into effect from midnight at that date. This provided for primary legislation on devolved matters to be made by Order in Council at Westminster. Such an Order may not be made unless a draft of it has been approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.

Westminster Procedure: Following approval by the Departmental Minister and Secretary of State, the draft Order and accompanying Explanatory Memorandum are laid at Westminster. The draft Order is then considered by Standing Committee and approved by the House of Commons and approved by the House of Lords. Her Majesty then makes the Order at a meeting of the Privy Council.

From this page you can view the progress of each draft Order through Westminster. This page will be updated on a daily basis, where necessary.

Standing Committee debates can be accessed by clicking here.

Name of Order Brief summary
of the Order
Date Draft Order
House of Commons Lords Order
Made at Meeting
of Privy Council

Delegated Legislation

Standing Committee

Approved by Commons
Provides rights for fathers and adoptive parents to paid time off around the time of the birth of a child or when a child is placed for adoption; improves maternity rights and places a duty on employers to consider seriously requests for flexible working hours from parents of young children.
28.10.2002 04.11.2002 05.11.2002 06.11.2002 20.11.2002
Provides for putting in place a new methodology for the distribution of the resources element of general grant payable to district councils; extends the powers of district councils to promote economic development; and provides powers to district councils to engage in community safety activity.
15.11.2002 26.11.2002 27.11.2002 5.12.2002  17.12.2002
Housing Support (Northern Ireland) Order
(Dept.for Social Development)
Introduces a new method for funding the costs associated with providing housing support services for vulnerable people in supported accommodation.
15.11.2002 27.11.2002 28.11.2002 5.12.2002
Fur Farming (Northern Ireland Order
(Dept. of Agriculture and Rural Development)
Bans the keeping of animals solely or primarily for slaughter for the value of their fur.
21.11.2002 02.12.2002 03.12.2002 16.12.02 17.12.02
Improves the public accountability of the Northern Ireland trust ports, principally Belfast, Coleraine, Londonderry and Warrenpoint.
21.11.2002 04.12.2002 05.12.2002 16.12.2002 17.12.2002
Company Directors (Northern Ireland) Order
(Dept. of Enterprise, Trade and Investment)
Provides for the disqualification of unfit directors by consent without the need for uncontested cases to be heard in Court.
25.11.2002 10.12.2002 11.12.2002 16.12.2002 17.12.2002
Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order
(Dept. of Enterprise, Trade and Investment)
Makes available to small companies, attempting to enter a voluntary agreement with their creditors, the option of a short moratorium during which they will be protected from legal proceedings, thus providing them with an enhanced opportunity to put together a rescue package.
25.11.2002 10.12.2002 11.12.2002 16.12.2002 17.12.2002
Combines the provisions contained in the Assembly's Pollution, Prevention and Control; Local Air Quality Management; and Areas of Special Scientific Interest Bills. Provides for a regulatory framework for a high level of protection of the environment through the prevention or reduction of emissions to air, water and land as a result of industrial activities; will establish an effective local air quality management system; introduces measures to allow for the better protection and management of Areas of Special Scientific Interest; and will meet a number of EU commitments which are at various stages of infraction proceedings. 25.11.2002 03.12.2002 04.12.2002 16.12.2002 17.12.2002
Reforms, updates, simplifies and consolidates the procedures in relation to the formalities to, and the preliminaries for, marriage, focusing on the steps which must be taken before a marriage ceremony can take place. 04.12.2002 16.12.2002 17.12.2002 12.02.2003   27.02.2003

Audit and Accountability (Northern Ireland) Order

Dept. of Finance and Personnel

Reforms and updates existing audit arrangements for public sector bodies. 19.12.02 29.01.03  03.02.03  12.02.2003   27.02.2003
Provides for the establishment of a Commissioner for Children and Young People as part of a wider children's strategy.

 18.12.2002  16.01.2003  27.01.2003  12.02.2003   27.02.2003
Strengthens the arrangements under which checks are carried out as to the suitability of those seeking work with children, or adults with a learning difficulty.  07.01.2003  30.01.2003  03.02.2003  12.02.2003   27.02.2003

Energy (Northern Ireland) Order

Dept. of Enterprise, Trade and Investment

Restructures the framework of regulatory and consumer representation institutions in the gas and electricity sector; amends the licensing regime in these sectors; provides for the imposition of a "renewables obligation" on electricity suppliers to promote the generation and consumption of energy from renewable sources; provides powers to implement the "postalisation" of gas conveyance charges to facilitate the extension of the gas industry outside Greater Belfast and the connection of the gas networks, North and South; and replaces transitional statutory provisions relating to energy payments in the electricity and gas sectors.
 23.01.2003 10.02.2003  12.02.2003 11.02.2003   27.02.2003

Housing (Northern Ireland) Order

Dept. for Social Development

Provides for dealing with the nuisance caused by the conduct of certain persons at residential premises let to tenants of the Housing Executive and registered housing associations; provides a more flexible grants system for the renewal of private sector housing; and amends existing legislation to address issues including responsibility for the register of rents, allocation of housing accommodation, caravan sites for members of the Irish Traveller community and a registration scheme for housing in multiple occupation.  20.01.2003  11.02.2003  24.02.2003 13.02.2003   27.02.2003
Provides a power to introduce a single funding formula for the calculation of school budgets for all schools funded under Local Management of Schools arrangements and makes a number of technical or minor amendments to existing legislation.  07.01.2003 04.02.2003 11.02.2003 10.02.2003   27.02.2003
Combines the provisions contained in the Assembly's Planning (Amendment) and Strategic Planning Bills. Strengthens planning enforcement powers, gives primacy to development plans in the determination of planning applications and assists the implementation of the regional development strategy.  16.01.2003  04.02.2003  13.02.2003  10.02.2003   27.02.2003

Family Law (Divorce etc.) (Northern Ireland) Order

Dept. of Finance and Personnel

Reforms the facts on proof of which a divorce or judicial separation may be granted, or an order for maintenance made; makes some changes to procedures in divorce and judicial separation cases and states explicitly the power of both a divorce court and domestic proceedings court to adjourn a case for reconciliation or mediation; and deals with three anomalies of family property law to the allow the UK Government to ratify Protocol 7 of the European Convention on Human Rights.           

HPSS (Quality, Improvement and Regulation) (Northern Ireland) Order

Dept. of Health, Social Services and Public Safety

Establishes an independent body with overall responsibility for monitoring and regulating services delivered by, or on behalf of, the Health and Personal Social Services (HPSS) and of services delivered by the independent, voluntary and private sectors and for monitoring the quality of care in the HPSS; introduces a statutory duty of quality and a common system of regulation based on minimum standards; reconstitutes the main appeals tribunal; and transfers responsibility for the inspection of care provided in schools which provide accommodation to children to the new body.

A draft Proposal for an Order in Council and accompanying Explanatory Memorandum was issued for consultation on 18 November 2002 with the deadline for comments due 16 December 2002. To view text click here.

 07.01.2003  30.01.2003  03.02.2003  12.02.2003   27.02.2003

Strategic Investment and Regeneration of Sites (Northern Ireland) Order

Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister

Creates the Strategic Investment Board to ensure that strategic infrastructure is planned and delivered in a way that makes the most of all the means and resources available; and deals with the identification of some strategic military and security sites which are to transfer to the Executive free of charge, enabling use to be made of them for economic and social regeneration of local areas.

A draft Proposal for an Order in Council and accompanying Explanatory Memorandum was issued for consultation on 26 November with the deadline for comments due by 24th December 2002. To view text click here.

 14.01.2003  04.02.2003
(Grand Committee)
 12.02.2003  13.02.2003   27.02.2003

Budget (Northern Ireland) Order

Dept. of Finance and Personnel

Gives effect to the 2002/2003 Spring Supplementary Estimates and Vote on Account for 2003/2004

(Grand Committee)
 12.02.2003  11.02.2003   27.02.2003