Northern Ireland Assembly
Committee Launches Bill of Rights Consultation
The Northern Ireland Assembly’s Ad Hoc Committee on a Bill of Rights has launched its public consultation on whether there should be a Bill of Rights here and which rights such a Bill would include.
The Ad Hoc Committee was set up by the Assembly on 24 February 2020 as a result of the New Decade, New Approach document which was endorsed by political parties in January 2020. The consultation will last for six weeks and it is expected that a report will be published early in 2022.
Emma Sheerin MLA, Chairperson of the Committee recently said:
“I am pleased that we have now reached the stage of consulting with the public on this important issue.
“A Bill of Rights has been discussed by society for many years. Following the New Decade, New Approach document, we, as a Committee, have been tasked with considering the creation of a Bill of Rights here, including examining the implications of such a Bill and what rights it might include.
“Our Committee has taken evidence from a range of international human rights experts and we are grateful for their assistance. Some of the rights and protections that we have examined are around issues of language, culture and heritage. It is imperative that we seek people’s views on what they think should or should not be included in a Bill of Rights.
“This really is a consultation for everyone to have their say, voice their opinion and help inform the Committee and its future work. All responses will be confidential and we look forward to hearing from as many people as possible.”
Notes to Editors:
Ad hoc committees are occasionally set up by the Assembly to look at specific time-bound issues. When these committees are set up, the Assembly sets the terms of reference for them, as well as who the members will be and how the committee will operate.
On 24 February 2020, the Assembly established the Ad Hoc Committee on a Bill of Rights, with the following terms of reference:
That, as provided for in Standing Order 53(1), this Assembly appoints an Ad Hoc Committee to consider the creation of a Bill of Rights as set out in paragraph 28 of Part 2 of the New Decade, New Approach document; and to submit a report to the Assembly by 28 February 2022.
Further information about the Committee’s work on a Bill of Rights can be found on the Committee’s webpage.
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