Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Stormont comes to Holyrood

Students of comparative law might wish to take cognisance of the following, and so might those of Irish Catholic antecedents, especially if they value them.


Civil Authorities (Special Powers) Act (Northern Ireland), 1922 [12 & 13 Geo. 5. c. 5 (N.I.)]
An Act to empower certain authorities of the Government of Northern Ireland to take steps for preserving the peace and maintaining order in Northern Ireland, and for purposes connected therewith.
[7th April, 1922.]

1.
(2) For the purposes of this Act the civil authority shall be the Minister of Home Affairs for Northern Ireland, but that Minister may delegate, either unconditionally or subject to such conditions as he thinks fit, all or any of his powers under this Act to any officer of police, and any such officer of police shall, to the extent of such delegation, be the civil authority as respects any part of Northern Ireland specified in such delegation

3.
(1) A person alleged to be guilty of an offence against the regulations may be tried by a court of summary jurisdiction constituted in accordance with this section, and not otherwise.

(2) An offence against the regulations shall not be prosecuted except by such officer or person as may be authorised in that behalf by the Attorney General for Northern Ireland, and in accordance with such directions as may be given by the said Attorney General.

Schedule

3.
(1) The civil authority may make orders prohibiting or restricting in any area
(a) The holding of or taking part in meetings, assemblies (in eluding fairs and markets), or processions in public places;
(b) The use or wearing or possession of uniforms or badges of a naval, military or police character, or of uniforms or badges indicating membership of any association or body specified in the order;


4. Where there appears to be reason to apprehend that the assembly of any persons for the purpose of the holding of any meeting will give rise to grave disorder, and will thereby cause undue demands to be made upon the police forces, or that the holding of any procession will conduce to a breach of the peace or will promote disaffection, it shall be lawful for the civil authority, or for any magistrate or chief officer of police who is duly authorised for the purpose by the civil. authority, or for two or more of such persons so authorised, to make an order prohibiting the holding of the meeting or procession, and if a meeting or procession is held or attempted to be held in contravention of any such prohibition, it shall be lawful to take such steps as may be necessary to disperse the meeting or procession or prevent the holding thereof ; and every person taking part in any such prohibited meeting or procession shall be guilty of an offence against these regulations.

5.
(1) The Minister of Home Affairs may, by order, declare this regulation to be in force in any area, and in any such area no person other than a member of the police forces, shall, subject to any exceptions for which provision may be made in the order, practise, take part in, or he concerned in any exercise, movement, evolution, or drill of a military nature, or be concerned in, or assist the promotion or organisation of any such exercise, movement, evolution, or drill, by persons other than members of the police forces.

16.
If any person attempts or does any act calculated or likely to cause mutiny, sedition, or disaffection in any police force or among the civilian population, or to impede delay or restrict any work necessary for the preservation of the peace or maintenance of order he shall be guilty of an offence against these regulations.

19.
Where the civil authority, or any superior officer of police, is of opinion that a meeting or assembly is being or about to be held of such a character that an offence against these regulations may he committed thereat, he may authorise in writing a police constable or other person to attend the meeting or assembly, and any police constable or person so authorised may enter the place at which the meeting or assembly is held and remain there during its continuance.
In this regulation the expression "superior officer of police -, means an officer of police of a rank superior to that of constable.
The powers given by this regulation shall be in addition to and not in derogation of any powers of the civil authority, constables, or superior officers of police.

23.
Any person authorised for the purpose by the civil authority, or any police constable, or member of any of His Majesty’s forces on duty when the occasion for the arrest arises, may arrest without warrant any person whose behaviour is of such a nature as to give reasonable grounds for suspecting that he has acted or is acting or is about to act in a manner prejudicial to the preservation of the peace or maintenance of order, or upon whom may be found any article, book, letter, or other document, the possession of which gives ground for such a suspicion, or who is suspected of having committed an offence against these regulations, or of being in possession of any article or document which is being used or intended to be used for any purpose or in any way prejudicial to the preservation of the peace or maintenance of order, and anything found on any person so arrested which there is reason to suspect is being so used or intended to be used may be seized, and the civil authority may order anything so seized to be destroyed or otherwise disposed of.

24.
(1) Any person who does any act with a view to promoting or calculated to promote the objects of an unlawful association within the meaning of section 7 of the Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act, 1887, shall be guilty of an offence against these regulations.


(2) If any person, without lawful authority or excuse, has in his possession any document relating or purporting to relate to the affairs of any such association, or emanating or purporting to emanate from an officer of any such association, or addressed to the person as an officer or member of any such association, or indicating that he is an officer or member of any such association, that person shall be guilty of an offence against these regulations unless he proves that he did not know or had no reason to suspect that the document was of any such character as aforesaid or that he is not an officer or member of the association.


Where a person is charged with having in his possession any such document, and the document was found on premises in his occupation, or under his control, or in which he has resided, the document shall be presumed to have been in his possession unless the contrary is proved.

25.
No person shall by word of mouth or in writing, or in any newspaper, periodical, book, circular, or other printed publication —


(a) spread false reports or make false statements; or

(b) spread reports or make statements intended or likely to cause disaffection to His Majesty, or to interfere with the success of any police or other force acting for the preservation of the peace or maintenance of order in Northern Ireland;

29.
The powers conferred by these regulations are in addition to and not in derogation of any powers exerciseable by the civil authority and other persons to take such steps as may be necessary for securing the preservation of the peace or maintenance of order, and save as otherwise expressly provided by these regulations nothing in these regulations shall affect the liability of any person to trial and punishment for any offence or crime otherwise than in accordance with these regulations. Provided that no person shall be liable to be punished twice for the same offence or crime.


Flags and Emblems (Display) Act (Northern Ireland), 1954 [1954 c. 10 (N.I.).]

An Act to make provision with respect to the display of certain flags and emblems.
[6th April, 1954.]

1. Any person who prevents or threatens to interfere by force with the display of a Union flag (usually known as the Union Jack) by another person on or in any lands or premises lawfully occupied by that other person shall be guilty of an offence against this Act.

2.
(l) Where any police officer, having regard to the time or place at which and the circumstances in which any emblem is being displayed, apprehends that the display of such emblem may occasion a breach of the peace, he may require the person displaying or responsible for the display of such emblem to discontinue such display or cause it to be discontinued; and any person who refuses or fails to comply with such a requirement shall be guilty of an offence against this Act.

(2) Where:
(a) a requirement under the preceding subsection is not complied with; or
(b) the person responsible for such display is not readily available; or
(c) no person, or no person responsible for such display and capable of complying with such a requirement, is present on or in any lands or premises whereon or wherein such an emblem is being displayed;
a police officer may without warrant enter any such lands or premises, using such force as may be necessary, and may remove and seize and detain such emblem.

(4) In this section the expression “emblem” includes a flag of any kind other than the Union flag, and the expression “police officer” means an officer, head-constable or sergeant of the Royal Ulster Constabulary.


The Special Powers Act was repealed under "Direct Rule" by the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1973.

The Flags and Emblems Act was repealed under "Direct Rule" by the Public Order (Northern Ireland) Order 1987.

To the shame of Scotland, they were both resuscitated under devolved rule by the SNP administration at Holyrood in the guise of The Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012 which was passed on 14th December 2011 and will come into effect on 1st March 2012.

Ian Paisley should live at this hour!

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