Northern Ireland Assembly - Legislation and Monitoring
The Northern Ireland Assembly was established as part of the Belfast Agreement and meets in Parliament Buildings. The Assembly is the prime source of authority for all devolved responsibilities and has full legislative and executive authority.
Bills – TSO publish Bills and associated documents – Explanatory and Financial Memoranda, Notices and Marshalled Lists of Amendments and any amended version of the Bill – as it passes through the legislative stages.
First Stage – Introduction of Bill
Second Stage – General debate with an opportunity for Members to vote on its general principles
Committee Stage – Detailed investigation by a Committee followed by report to the Assembly
Consideration Stage – Consideration of amendments and an opportunity vote on details of the Bill
Further Consideration Stage
Final Stage – Passing or rejecting of Bill, without further amendment
Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly – Since devolution the Assembly has the power to create Acts. Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly are proposed by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, for Royal Assent, Acts of Parliament require approval from Westminster.
Orders in Council – The Northern Ireland Office, independent from the Assembly, has retained certain powers since devolution and still issues Orders in Council. Orders in Council are treated as the equivalent to a Westminster Act, being primary legislation they require approval at Westminster.
Explanatory & Financial Memoranda – Explanatory memoranda are available to aid understanding of all Northern Ireland Assembly Bills. They are particularly useful for those not legally qualified or without specialist knowledge of the subject matter, allowing the reader an insight into what the Bill sets out to achieve.
Marshalled List of Amendments – This publication gives details of amendments proposed to be made to the legislation until the date stated on the publication.
Statutory Rules – Statutory Rules (known as secondary or subordinate legislation) allow Government ministers or other authorities to regulate administrative details within the bounds established by an Act or Order in Council. Such Instruments have equal force of law to the original Act itself.
Statutory Instruments – Statutory Instruments affecting Northern Ireland are still being issued from Westminster. They are issued by TSO and are given both an SI number and a Northern Ireland number, the documents are hole-punched to fit into a special binder.
'Hansard – Northern Ireland Assembly: Official Report' provides a verbatim record of speeches, debates, questions and answers; the report provides a fascinating record of the day's proceedings. Hansard contains a list of Assembly members as well as details on the committees and discussed legislation. ...more
An invaluable guide containing past and forthcoming Plenary and Committee business with detailed information on Ministers, Departments and Committee Membership, the Weekly Information Bulletin (WIB) is a convenient and cost effective way of keeping up with events in the Assembly. ...more
'Report on Excess Votes (Northern Ireland) 2010-2011 (NIA 47/11-15)' is a report on part of the Northern Ireland Assembly's control framework over Government spending. The Committee considers the reports by the Comptroller and Auditor General on resource accounts of departments that have exceeded the limits of expenditure authorised by the Assembly. ...more
'Report on The Bioscience and Technology Institute (NIA 48/11-15)' examines the reasons for the failure of a major innovation project, the Bioscience and Technology Institute Limited (BTI). ...more
Almost 20% of Northern Ireland's 307,000 pensioners are classified as living in poverty according to 'Report on the Uptake of Benefits by Pensioners (NIA 45/11-15)', given that social security benefits make up a significant proportion of pensioners' income, ensuring that they receive their full entitlement to these benefits can help reduce this poverty. ...more