Boyle K (2020) Comparative International and Devolved Best Practice, Ad Hoc Bill Committee on a Bill of Rights Written Evidence , 8 September 2020. Northern Ireland Assembly, Ad Hoc Committee on a Bill of Rights. Northern Ireland. http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/assembly-business/committees/2017-2022/ad-hoc-committee-on-a-bill-of-rights/written-briefings/dr-katie-boyle/
This paper seeks to address some of the legal issues regarding a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland, it does so with a view to identifying potential concerns/barriers and proposing ways forward for creating a model that embodies best practice internationally and comparatively whilst contextualising the approach within the unique devolved constitutional framework of Northern Ireland. The paper is set out in a question/ answer format for ease of reference:
1. Can the Northern Ireland Assembly implement a Bill of Rights?
2. Does Northern Ireland already have sufficient human rights protection under the ECHR?
3. Why implement a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland?
4. Would implementing a Bill of Rights in Northern Ireland place it out of step with the rest of the UK?
5. What can Northern Ireland learn from international best practice?
a. Enhanced role for the Assembly
b. Enhanced role for the Executive
c. Enhanced role for the Court
6. How can a Northern Ireland Bill of Rights embody international best practice?
7. Constitutional Safeguards
8. Recommendations for a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland