Amend Standing Orders

Amend Standing Orders
Proposed: After Standing Order 99 insert – ‘100. Stages of Hybrid Bills (1) Subject to Standing Order 106, the Assembly stages of a Hybrid Bill are – (a) Preliminary Scrutiny Stage: consideration as to whether the Bill satisfies the conditions at Standing Order 101; (b) Introduction and First Stage: introduction of the Bill to the Assembly; (c) Investigation Stage: initial investigation by a Hybrid Bill committee into the principles of the Bill, and the period during which objections must be lodged; (d) Second Stage: general debate on the Bill with an opportunity for members to vote on its general principles; (e) Committee Stage: detailed investigation by the Hybrid Bill committee and opportunity to propose amendments to the Bill, followed by report to the Assembly; (f) Consideration Stage: consideration of and an opportunity for the Assembly to vote on the details of the Bill, including amendments proposed to the Bill; (g) Further Consideration Stage: opportunity for members to consider and vote on amendments proposed to the Bill; and (h) Final Stage: passing or rejection of the Bill without further amendment. 101. Preliminary Scrutiny Stage (1) A Hybrid Bill shall not be introduced in the Assembly unless the standard conditions and any applicable information conditions are met. (2) The standard conditions are that – (a) there is proof of need for the Bill; (b) no suitable alternative to the matter proceeding by way of a Hybrid Bill is demonstrated; (c) there has been sufficient consultation with those who may be affected by the Bill; (d) the Bill would be within the legislative competence of the Assembly; and (e) the Bill would not impose any charge on the Consolidated Fund. (3) The Speaker may direct that one or more of the information conditions apply to the Bill. (4) The information conditions are that – (a) The Bill is accompanied by an explanatory and financial memorandum; (b) The Bill is accompanied by a statement in writing signed by the Promoter, to the effect that, in the Promoter’s view, the Bill would be within the legislative competence of the Assembly; (c) The Bill is accompanied by an environmental statement; and (d) The Bill is accompanied by such other documents as the Speaker may require. (5) The explanatory and financial memorandum must be in such form as the Speaker may direct and must set out – (a) the issue the Bill is intended to address; (b) the consultation undertaken; (c) the options considered; (d) the option selected and the reason therefore; and (e) the cost implications of the proposal. (6) Paragraphs 6 to 8 of Standing Order 30 shall apply to Hybrid Bills as they apply to Public Bills. 102. Introduction and First Stage (1) When the Speaker has signified to the Promoter that a Hybrid Bill may be introduced, notice of introduction on a sitting day may be given by the Promoter. (2) The Bill shall be accompanied on introduction by – (a) the statement of legislative competence; (b) the explanatory and financial memorandum, setting out the matters at Standing Order 101(5); and (c) such other documents as the Speaker may require. (3) On introduction, the Bill’s title shall be read to the Assembly, and this shall constitute the Bill’s First Stage. (4) After the Bill’s First Stage, the Bill shall be ordered to be printed and the Bill shall stand referred to a Hybrid Bill committee for its Investigation Stage. 103. Investigation Stage (1) Investigation Stage shall commence when the Bill is referred to a Hybrid Bill committee. (2) Investigation Stage shall last at least 60 working days. (3) The committee shall carry out an initial investigation into the general principles of the Bill and report its opinion on the Bill to the Assembly. (4) Investigation Stage is concluded when the committee reports to the Assembly. (5) On the report being made to the Assembly by the committee, the Bill shall be set down in the list of pending future business until a date for its Second Stage is determined. 104. Objections (1) Any objections to a Hybrid Bill must be lodged within 42 working days, beginning with the day on which the Bill is referred to the Hybrid Bill committee for Investigation Stage. (2) An objection to a Hybrid Bill received outside the objection period may be lodged only if that objection is approved by resolution of the Assembly, and may not in any case be lodged after the Investigation Stage is concluded. (3) The Hybrid Bill committee shall consider an objection lodged in accordance with this order and admit it if – (a) the Objector has shown that his or her property or interests are directly and specially affected by the Bill; (b) the objection is in such form and accompanied by such information as may be required by the committee; and (c) the objection is accompanied by such fee as the Assembly Commission may determine. (4) An Objector may take no further part in committee proceedings unless the objection is admitted. (5) An Objector cannot subsequently raise any issue not contained in the initial objection. 105. Second Stage Standing Order 32 shall apply to Hybrid Bills as it applies to Public Bills. 106. Treatment as a Public Bill Where no objection is received or admitted to a Hybrid Bill during Investigation Stage, the Bill shall be treated as a Public Bill and shall proceed in accordance with Standing Orders 33-42. 107. Treatment as a Hybrid Bill Where an objection to a Hybrid Bill is received and admitted during Investigation Stage, Standing Orders 88 to 95 and Standing Order 97 shall apply to that Bill as they apply to a Private Bill; and Standing Order 37A shall apply to that Bill as it applies to a Public Bill. 108. Hybrid Bill Committees (1) The Assembly shall establish a Hybrid Bill committee in respect of each Hybrid Bill proposed to be introduced in the Assembly. (2) Each committee will discharge the functions conferred on it by Standing Order 103, and, where applicable, the functions conferred on it by Standing Orders 88 and 90. (3) A member with a personal or constituency interest in the Bill shall not be eligible to sit on the committee. (4) The committee shall consist of five members, and have a chairperson and deputy chairperson elected by the committee. (5) The quorum of the committee shall be three. Members linked by a video- conferencing facility shall not count towards the quorum. (6) All questions at the committee shall be decided by a simple majority. Voting shall be by a show of hands unless otherwise requested by a member of the committee. The chairperson shall have a casting vote. (7) Members of the committee shall normally attend all meetings of the committee and may be absent from a meeting of the committee only in exceptional circumstances. (8) A Hybrid Bill committee may exercise the power in section 44(1) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998. (9) A Hybrid Bill committee may permit the Promoter or an Objector to cross- examine any witness giving evidence to it. 109. Interpretation (1) In these Standing Orders, “Hybrid Bill” means a Bill which affects a particular private interest in a manner different from the private interest of other persons or bodies of the same category or class. (2) In Standing Orders 100 to 108 – “Objector” means a person objecting to a Hybrid Bill; “Objection period” means the period of 42 working days following the referral of a Bill to a Hybrid Bill committee; “Hybrid Bill committee” means a committee established in accordance with Standing Order 108; “Promoter” means the member of the Assembly who proposes to introduce a Hybrid Bill. “Statement of legislative competence” means a statement in writing signed by the member of the Assembly who proposes to introduce the Bill, which states that in the view of the member, the Bill would be within the legislative competence of the Assembly.'
Committee Motion
View Official Report

Find Your MLA


Locate your local MLA.

Find MLA

News and Media Centre


Read press releases, watch live and archived video

Find out more

Follow the Assembly


Keep up to date with what’s happening at the Assem

Find out more



Enter your email address to keep up to date.

Sign up