Northern Ireland Assembly Flax Flower Logo

OP 09-09/10


The Assembly to sit at 1.00pm



Motion - Suspension of Standing Orders

- Proposed: That Standing Orders 10(2) to 10(4) be suspended for 12 October 2009.

[Ms C Ní Chuilín]
[Mr F Cobain]


3.1 Health, Social Services and Public Safety

3.2 Agriculture and Rural Development


(a) - Motion - Amend Standing Orders

- Proposed: Leave out Standing Order 57 and insert -


(1) There shall be a standing committee of the Assembly to be known as the Committee on Standards and Privileges -

(a) to consider specific matters relating to privilege referred to it by the Assembly;

(b) to oversee the work of the Clerk of Standards; to examine the arrangements for the compilation, maintenance and accessibility of the Register of Members’ Interests and any other registers of interests established by the Assembly; and to review from time to time the form and content of those registers;

(c) to consider any matter relating to the conduct of members, including specific complaints in relation to alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct which have been drawn to the committee’s attention;

(d) to recommend any modifications to the Code of Conduct;

(e) to consider any reports of the Assembly Commissioner for Standards;

(f) to perform the functions described in Standing Orders 69B and 69C;

(g) to make reports (including reports to the Assembly) on the exercise of any of its functions or any other matter listed above.

(2) The committee shall be appointed at the commencement of every Assembly and may exercise the power in section 44(1) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.

[Chairperson, Committee on Procedures]

(b) - Motion - Amend Standing Orders

- Proposed: Leave out Standing Order 69 and insert -


(1) A Register of Members’ Interests, which shall list the categories of registrable interest, shall be established, published and made available for public inspection.

(2) The Clerk of Standards shall compile, maintain and from time to time publish, the Register of Members’ Interests.

(3) Every member shall inform the Clerk of Standards of such particulars of their registrable interests as shall be required, and of any alterations to such interests within 28 days of each alteration occurring.

(4) Before taking part in any debate or proceeding of the Assembly or its committees, a member shall declare any interest, financial or otherwise, which is relevant to that debate or proceeding, where such interest is held by the member or an immediate relative.

(5) No member shall, in any proceeding of the Assembly –

(a) advocate or initiate any cause or matter on behalf of any outside body or individual; or

(b) urge any other member to do so;

in return for any payment or benefit specified in this context in the Code of Conduct.

(6) In this order –

“financial interest” means any registrable interest other than one falling within category 3 which is not remunerated, category 11 or category 12 of the Code of Conduct;

“registrable interest” means any category of registrable interest defined as such in the Code of Conduct.


(1) There shall be an officer of the Assembly, to be known as the Assembly Commissioner for Standards, who shall upon referral –

(a) from any person of a specific complaint, in relation to alleged contravention of the Code of Conduct; and

(b) from the Clerk of Standards, in relation to any matter falling within paragraph (2);

carry out an investigation and make a report thereon to the Committee on Standards and Privileges.

(2) Those matters are –

(a) matters relating to members and Assembly privilege, including alleged breach of privilege;

(b) specific complaints about members made in relation to the registering or declaring of interests; and

(c) matters relating to the conduct of members, including specific complaints in relation to alleged contravention of the Code of Conduct.

(3) A report made under paragraph (1) shall not include any recommendation for any sanction to be imposed upon any member, other than a recommendation for rectification under Standing Order 69C.

(4) The Commissioner shall not, in the exercise of any function, be subject to the direction or control of the Assembly.

(5) The Commissioner shall not be dismissed unless –

(a) the Assembly so resolves; and

(b) the resolution is passed with the support of a number of members which equals or exceeds two-thirds of the total number of seats in the Assembly.


(1) Where it appears to the Committee on Standards and Privileges that a member has failed to comply with any provision of the Code of Conduct or Standing Orders 69 to 69C, the committee may make a report to the Assembly. The report may include a recommendation that a sanction be imposed upon the member.

(2) In consideration of such a report, the Assembly may impose a sanction upon a member who has failed to comply with any of those provisions.

(3) Sanctions may include, but are not limited to –

(a) a requirement that the member apologise to the Assembly;

(b) censure of the member by the Assembly;

(c) exclusion of the member from proceedings of the Assembly for a specified period;

(d) withdrawal of any of the member’s rights and privileges as a member for that period;

and for the avoidance of doubt, the rights and privileges withdrawn under sub-paragraph (d) may include the rights to salary and allowances.


(1) Rectification under this order means –

(a) rectification of the Register of Members’ Interests, in the case of a complaint following failure by a member to register an interest in the Register;

(b) reporting and apologising to the Assembly in respect of a failure of a member to declare an interest, in the case of a complaint following that failure.

(2) The Committee on Standards and Privileges may allow rectification under this order if –

(a) the Assembly Commissioner for Standards recommends it;

(b) the failure was minor or inadvertent; and

(c) the member acknowledges the failure and either undertakes to apologise for it or has apologised for it.

[Chairperson, Committee on Procedures]


(c) - Motion - Amend Standing Orders

- Proposed: In Standing Order 81, after ‘In these Standing Orders - ’ insert –

“Code of Conduct” means any code of conduct for members together with any guide to the rules relating to the conduct of members agreed to by the Assembly;

[Chairperson, Committee on Procedures]


- Motion - Assisted Suicide

- Proposed: That this Assembly notes the verdict in the Purdy case and the decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions in Northern Ireland to issue guidance on assisted suicide; and states its opposition to any attempt to legalise assisted suicide.

[Mr S Hamilton]
[Rt Hon J Donaldson]
[Mr J Wells]

- Motion - Attendance at Services in Catholic Churches

- Proposed: That this Assembly calls on the Minister of Culture Arts and Leisure to withdraw his statement that he will “not attend a service in a Catholic Church”; further calls on the Minister to recognise that such a refusal to attend a Catholic Church service from an Executive Minister has no place in an inclusive society, and that as an Executive Minister he has a duty to serve, respect and engage with all sections of society regardless of their religious background.

[Mr J O’Dowd]
[Mr B McElduff]
[Mr R McCartney]