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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all for today

    The members have mopped up today's list of SRs much more quickly than expected.

    We're back tomorrow morning at 09:45 for a meeting of the Education Committee and in the afternoon we'll have the Finance Committee.

    Parliament Buildings

    The committees are being briefed by their respective ministers so it should be an interesting day.

    In the meantime, enjoy the rest of your day.

  2. New laws on domestic abuse

    The members complete the approval of all the SRs tabled for today.

    Paul Givan raises the matter of new laws on domestic abuse.

    Justice Minister Naomi Long has announced that the legislation will be enacted by the assembly rather than by parliament at Westminster.

    The new laws will make coercive control, such as behaviour that amounts to "psychological, emotional or financial abuse", a criminal offence.

    Woman with her hands extended

    The legislation will ultimately have to be scrutinised by the committee and it is agreed that they will consider the matter at the regular weekly meeting on Thursday afternoon.

    Mr Givan welcomes the minster's decision saying that it will enable legislation "that is bespoke to the specific needs in Northern Ireland".

  3. Legal advice exemptions rule passed

    The committee considers the final statutory rule.

    It would exempt some applications for legal advice in cases before a review tribunal under the Mental Capacity Act from a financial eligibility assessment.

    Scales of Justice

    Justice chair Paul Givan says it appears the estimated cost of doing this would be "somewhere between £500,000 and £600,000".

    The members approved the SR.

  4. EU withdrawal SRs approved

    Departmental official Jo Wilson (below) arrives to brief the members on some legal matters that were being prepared in event of a no-deal Brexit.

    She explains that the rules will come into play if required by 31 December 2020.

    The committee approves the relevant SRs.

    Jo Wilson

    The committee continues to rattle through a number of SRs relating to matters including courts, bereavement damages and the rehabilitation of offenders.

    At this rate they'll have wrapped up well before the advertised finish time of 16:00.

  5. Collecting cross-border fines

    The UUP's Doug Beattie asks about the cross-border aspect of collecting fines.

    He asks how the authorities in Northern Ireland collect fines from people based in the Republic of Ireland and vice versa.

    Border road sign

    Ms Bell says it's very difficult to serve the summons to an offender.

    Mr Beattie asks if that's a gap in the legislation.

    "It's a problem that we're aware of," the official replies, adding that the department has been working to try to resolve it.

    The committee approves the SR.

  6. More than 48,000 collection orders for fines

    Department of Justice official Angela Bell explains the technical elements of the Enforcement of Fines And Other Penalties Regulations in Northern Ireland.

    Angela Bell

    Paul Givan asks if the new system been more effective than the previous system for collecting fines.

    Ms Bell says the new arrangements came into operation in 2018 and since the implementation, more than 48,000 collection orders have been made, and of those over 4,500 deduction from benefits orders have been made.

  7. International police cooperation

    The members consider an SR concerning international police cooperation.

    Mr Givan explains that the SR springs from the UK's departure from the EU.

    passport and handcuffs

    It results from delays in ratification of legislation involving Italy, Greece, Luxemburg and Slovakia, and the SR and deals with joint investigation powers.

    The committee approves the SR.

  8. Paul Givan opens the meeting

    Justice Committee chair Paul Givan opens the meeting and starts addressing the first of the statutory rules.

    Paul Givan

    It is the Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) (Fees) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2019. The rule is passed.

  9. What is a statutory rule?

    Definition of legislation

    The committee is discussing a number of statutory rules (SRs) today.

    SRs are minor pieces of legislation that explain how acts will be applied.

    Hundreds of these SRs have accumulated during the three years when the assembly has not been sitting - they have to be considered by the relevant committee.

  10. Good morning

    Parliament Buildings

    Welcome to Tuesday's live coverage from the Northern Ireland Assembly.

    Today, we're bringing you a meeting of the Justice Committee from the ornate senate chamber here at Parliament Buildings, Stormont.

    The session starts at 10.35 so do join us then.