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Departmental Legislation

Volume 503: debated on Thursday 7 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what criminal offences have been (a) created and (b) abolished by secondary legislation sponsored by his Department since 1 May 2008. (307796)

I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 7 December 2009, Official Report, column 21W, which considered primary legislation to include both Westminster Acts of Parliament and, for Northern Ireland, Orders in Council which would elsewhere be classified as secondary legislation. For the purposes of the current question I am therefore treating secondary legislation for Northern Ireland to cover statutory instruments excluding orders in Council.

Excluding agencies and non-departmental public bodies, the Northern Ireland Office has made four statutory rules which have made or repealed offences since 1 May 2008.

The Representation of the People (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2008; the Northern Ireland Assembly (Elections) (Amendment) Order 2009; and the European Parliamentary Elections (Northern Ireland) (Amendment) Order 2009 updated Northern Ireland electoral procedures. This brought them in line with changes made to UK electoral law by the Electoral Administration Act 2006 and included offences relating to voting and electoral registration procedures.

The Electoral Administration Act 2006 (Regulation of Loans etc: Northern Ireland) Order 2008 also provides for an offence of disclosing information contained in transaction reports in circumstances other than those set out in the order.