Plenary started with the process for filling the office of Minister of Justice in accordance with the procedures set out in Part 1A of schedule 4A to the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and Standing Order 44A. The Speaker begin by asking for nominations, “any Member may rise and nominate another Member to hold the office of Minister of Justice. If Members rise from more than one party, I will call first the Member from the largest of those parties to make a nomination, which is the convention for other items of business.
The Act requires that one nomination must be processed before a further nomination can be made. I will, therefore, take only one nomination at a time and put the Question on that nomination. If the Assembly resolves by parallel consent that the Member nominated shall be Minister of Justice and that person takes up office as required by the Act and Standing Orders, no further nominations may be made. I will call for further nominations only if those conditions are not fulfilled”.
The Business Committee agreed that a Member making a nomination may speak for up to three minutes, following which there will be an opportunity for debate on the nomination, with Members also having an opportunity to speak for up to three minutes.
As the person nominated to fill the vacancy shall not take up office until he or she has affirmed the terms of the Pledge of Office in schedule 4 to the Northern Ireland Act 1998, after the Question has been determined, the person nominated will then affirm the terms of the Pledge of Office.
Read the full transcript here