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Section 3(5) of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019 requires the UK Government to lay reports before Parliament at regular intervals. The Act stipulates that these reports must include information on: 

  • progress made towards forming an executive in Northern Ireland;
  • progress made towards preparing legislation to provide for transparency of political donations and loans from 1 January 2014;
  • the improvement of higher education provision in Northern Ireland and the establishment of a university, the principal campus of which is in Derry/Londonderry;
  • progress made towards protecting veterans of the armed forces and other security personnel from repeated investigation for Troubles-related incidents by introducing a presumption of non-prosecution, in the absence of compelling new evidence, whether in the form of a Qualified Statute of Limitations or by some other legal mechanism;
  • progress made towards developing new prosecution guidance for legacy cases of Troubles-related incidents, to take into account the lawfulness or otherwise of how the person who allegedly committed an offence was supplied with a deadly weapon; and
  • the current legal framework on abortion in Northern Ireland with an analysis of how that framework could be amended by Parliament during the period when there is no Executive, subject to a sunset clause to respect devolution, in order to comply with the human rights obligations of the United Kingdom.

As mandated by the Act, a first report on these topics was published on 4 September 2019, a second report on 9 October 2019, and further reports every two weeks until 18 December 2019. The reports of 6, 20, and 29 November 2019, and of 4 December 2019, were not debated because Parliament was dissolved.


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