Bill of Rights case made at Westminster
It's good to see that Professor Monica McWilliams and colleagues from the NI Human Rights Commission are in Westminster today, giving evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights at Westminster on their advice for a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland:
“The Commission is looking forward to presenting the advice on a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland to the Human Rights Committee today. We have been extremely encouraged with the level of interest in the report. This includes a meeting with the policy team at 10 Downing Street and requests to provide evidence to other Westminster Committees.”
I and some colleagues from the Human Rights Consortium received a very warm welcome from parties at Westminster when we visited to discuss the proposed Bill late last year.
With the advice from the Commision formally handed over to the Government on December 10th, it is now up to the Northern Ireland Office to move, without undue delay, to a public consultation on the Bill.
Given our confidence that a large cross-section of people in Northern Ireland support a strong Bill of Rights, we look forward to a public consultation as a staging post on the way to legislation at Westminster, which would deliver finally (eleven years on!) on one of the last unfulfilled promises of the Belfast / Good Friday Agreement.
There will be a panel debate on this at the Convention on Modern Liberty, Belfast on Saturday.
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