Joint Committee on Human Rights Twenty-Ninth Report

Annex 3: Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission Methodology

A Briefing on the Methodology used in preparing the advice of the NIHRC to Government on a Bill of Rights, 9 June 2008

1. Is the case made that the need for this proposed right arises out of the particular circumstances of Northern Ireland?

2. Is the proposed right (a) supplementary to the Human Rights Act 1998 (b) supplementary to those provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights not reproduced in Schedule 1 to the Human Rights Act 1998 and (c) compatible with their existing provisions?

3. Is the case made that the right is not adequately protected under the European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act?

4. Is the proposed right in line with best practice according to international instruments and experience?

5. Will the proposed right help to reflect the principles of mutual respect for the identity and ethos of both communities and parity of esteem?

6. In light of the above, taking into account what the consequences might be (positive and negative) of including this proposal in the Bill of Rights, the content of the Forum's Final Report, the support and opposition regarding the proposal, the context of human rights in the UK and on the island of Ireland and any submissions made to the Commission on the subject, does the Commission believe it would be in the interests of the people of Northern Ireland?

7. Taking into account all the above and having regard to the totality of rights considered for inclusion in a Bill of Rights, does the Commission consider (a) that this proposed right should be included in its advice to the Secretary of State and (b) that any amendments or additions are necessary or desirable in order to ensure the coherence and effectiveness of the Bill of Rights as a whole?

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Prepared 10 August 2008