Assembly Members (Reduction of Numbers) Act (Northern Ireland) 2016

Assembly Members (Reduction of Numbers) Act (Northern Ireland) 2016
Act of the Northern Ireland Assembly
Long titleAn Act to reduce the number of members of the Assembly returned for each constituency.
Citation2016 c. 29
Introduced byStewart Dickson
Territorial extentNorthern Ireland
Dates
Royal assent22 July 2016
Commencement2 March 2017
Status: Current legislation
Text of statute as originally enacted
Text of the Assembly Members (Reduction of Numbers) Act (Northern Ireland) 2016 as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from legislation.gov.uk

The Assembly Members (Reduction of Numbers) Act (Northern Ireland) 2016 is a 2016 Act of the Northern Ireland Assembly. It provided for a reduction of Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) in the Assembly from 108 to 90 for the first election following the 2016 Northern Ireland Assembly election.[1]

History

The Northern Ireland Act 1998, passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom following the Good Friday Agreement, established the Northern Ireland Assembly and declared that each Assembly constituency would elect six members.[2] In 2014, during consideration of the Northern Ireland (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2014, the House of Lords added an amendment to the bill to reduce the number of MLAs based upon Northern Irish popular opinion that the Northern Ireland Assembly was too large.[3]

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in the House of Commons supported the amendment that provided the Assembly the power to vote to reduce itself in size providing there was sufficient cross-community support.[4] The Democratic Unionist Party supported this and circulated a white paper proposing a reduction in MLAs and fewer departments in the Northern Ireland Executive.[5] The deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness supported the proposal after Sinn Féin had initially opposed the reduction.[6]

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