Government of Ireland Act 1920

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1920 c. 67


Government of Ireland Act, 1920.

(10 & 11 Geo. 5.) CHAPTER 67.

An Act to provide for the better Government of Ireland.

[23rd December 1920]

B E it enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

Establishment of Parliaments for Southern Ireland and

Establishment of Parliaments for Southern Ireland and

S-1 Establishment of Parliaments of Southern and Northern Ireland.

1 Establishment of Parliaments of Southern and Northern Ireland.

(1) On and after the appointed day there shall be established for Southern Ireland a Parliament to be called the Parliament of Southern Ireland consisting of His Majesty, the Senate of Southern Ireland, and the House of Commons of Southern Ireland, and there shall be established for Northern Ireland a Parliament to be called the Parliament of Northern Ireland consisting of His Majesty, the Senate of Northern Ireland, and the House of Commons of Northern Ireland.

(2) For the purposes of this Act, Northern Ireland shall consist of the parliamentary counties of Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone, and the parliamentary boroughs of Belfast and Londonderry, and Southern Ireland shall consist of so much of Ireland as is not comprised within the said parliamentary counties and boroughs.

S-2 Constitution of Council of Ireland.

2 Constitution of Council of Ireland.

(1) With a view to the eventual establishment of a Parliament for the whole of Ireland, and to bringing about harmonious action between the parliaments and governments of Southern Ireland and Northern Ireland, and to the promotion of mutual intercourse and uniformity in relation to matters affecting the whole of Ireland, and to providing for the administration of services which the two parliaments mutually agree should be administered uniformly throughout the whole of Ireland, or which by virtue of this Act are to be so administered, there shall be constituted, as soon as may be after the appointed day, a Council to be called the Council of Ireland.

(2) Subject as hereinafter provided, the Council of Ireland shall consist of a person nominated by the Lord Lieutenant acting in accordance with instructions from His Majesty who shall be President and forty other persons, of whom seven shall be members of the Senate of Southern Ireland, thirteen shall be members of the House of Commons of Southern Ireland, seven shall be members of the Senate of Northern Ireland, and thirteen shall be members of the House of Commons of Northern Ireland.

The members of the Council of Ireland shall be elected in each case by the members of that House of the Parliament of Southern Ireland or Northern Ireland of which they are members.

The election of members of the Council of Ireland shall be the first business of the Senates and Houses of Commons of Southern Ireland and Northern Ireland.

A member of the Council shall, on ceasing to be a member of that House of the Parliament of Southern Ireland or Northern Ireland by which he was elected a member of the Council, cease to be a member of the Council: Provided that, on the dissolution of the Parliament of Southern Ireland or Northern Ireland, the persons who are members of the Council elected by either House of that Parliament shall continue to hold office as members of the Council until the date of the first meeting of the new Parliament and shall then retire unless re-elected.

The President of the Council shall preside at each meeting of the Council at which he is present and shall be entitled to vote in case of an equality of votes, but not otherwise.

The first meeting of the Council shall be held at such time and place as may be appointed by the Lord Lieutenant.

The Council may act notwithstanding a vacancy in their number, and the quorum of the Council shall be fifteen; subject as aforesaid, the Council may regulate their own procedure, including the delegation of powers to committees.

(3) The constitution of the Council of Ireland may from time to time be varied by identical Acts passed by the Parliament of Southern Ireland and the Parliament of Northern Ireland, and the Acts may provide for all or any of the members of the Council of Ireland being elected by parliamentary electors, and determine the constituencies by which the several elective members are to be returned and the number of the members to be returned by the several constituencies and the method of election.

Power to establish a Parliament for the whole of

Power to establish a Parliament for the whole of

S-3 Power to establish a Parliament for the whole of Ireland.

3 Power to establish a Parliament for the whole of Ireland.

(1) The Parliaments of Southern Ireland and Northern Ireland may, by identical Acts agreed to by an absolute majority of members of the House of Commons of each Parliament at the third reading (hereinafter referred to as constituent Acts), establish, in lieu of the Council of Ireland, a Parliament for the whole of Ireland consisting of His Majesty and two Houses (which shall be called and known as the Parliament of Ireland), and may determine the number of members thereof and the manner in which the members are to be appointed or elected, and the constituencies for which the several elective members are to be returned, and the number of members to be returned by the several constituencies, and the method of appointment or election, and the relations of the two Houses to one another; and the date at which the Parliament of Ireland is established is hereinafter referred to as the date of Irish union:

Provided that the Bill for a constituent Act shall not be introduced except upon a resolution passed at a previous meeting of the House in which the Bill is to be introduced.

(2) On the date of Irish union the Council of Ireland shall cease to exist and there shall be transferred to the Parliament and Government of Ireland all powers then exerciseable by the Council of Ireland, and (except so far as the constituent Acts otherwise provide) the matters which under this Act cease to be reserved matters at the date of Irish union, and any other powers for the joint exercise of which by the Parliaments or Governments of Southern and Northern Ireland provision has been made under this Act.

(3) There shall also be transferred to the Parliament and Government of Ireland, except so far as the constituent Acts otherwise provide, all the powers and duties of the Parliaments and Governments of Southern Ireland and Northern Ireland, including all powers as to taxation, and, unless any powers and duties are retained by the Parliaments and Governments of Southern Ireland and Northern Ireland under the constituent Acts, those Parliaments and Governments shall cease to exist:

Provided that, if any powers and duties are so retained, the constituent Acts shall make provision with respect to the financial relations between the Exchequers of Southern and Northern Ireland on the one hand and the Irish Exchequer on the other.

(4) If by the constituent Acts any powers and duties are so retained as aforesaid, the Parliaments of Southern Ireland and Northern Ireland may subsequently by identical Acts transfer any of those powers and duties to the Government and Parliament of Ireland, and, in the event of all such powers and duties being so transferred, the Parliaments and Governments of Southern Ireland and Northern Ireland shall cease to exist.

Legislative Powers.

Legislative Powers.

S-4 Legislative powers of Irish Parliaments.

4 Legislative powers of Irish Parliaments.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Parliament of Southern Ireland and the Parliament of Northern Ireland shall respectively have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of Southern Ireland and Northern Ireland with the following limitations, namely, that they shall not have power to make laws except in respect of matters exclusively relating to the portion of Ireland within their jurisdiction, or some part thereof, and (without prejudice to that general limitation) that they shall not have power to make laws in respect of the following matters in particular, namely:—

(1) The Crown or the succession to the Crown, or a regency, or the property of the Crown (including foreshore vested in the Crown), or the Lord Lieutenant, except as respects the exercise of his executive power in relation to Irish services as defined for the purposes of this Act; or

(2) The making of peace or war, or matters arising from a state of war; or the regulation of the conduct of any portion of His Majesty's subjects during the existence of hostilities between foreign states with which His Majesty is at peace, in relation to those hostilities; or

(3) The navy, the army, the air force, the territorial force, or any other naval, military, or air force, or the defence of the realm, or any other naval, military, or air force matter (including any pensions and allowances payable to persons who have been members of or in respect of service in any such force or their widows or dependants, and provision for the training, education, employment and assistance for the reinstatement in civil life of persons who have ceased to be members of any such force); or

(4) Treaties, or any relations with foreign states, or relations with other parts of His Majesty's dominions, or matters involving the contravention of treaties or agreements with foreign states or any part of His Majesty's dominions, or offences connected with any such treaties or relations, or procedure connected with the extradition of criminals under any treaty, or the return of fugitive offenders from or to any part of His Majesty's dominions; or

(5) Dignities or titles of...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT