Provisional Bill of Rights is unveiled

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission has published its provisional proposals for what should be contained in a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland.

The Commission’s provisional proposals cover democratic rights, identity rights, equality rights, women’s rights, the right to life, criminal justice rights, victims rights, the right to family life and private life, children’s rights, education rights, language rights and social, economic and environmental rights.

The Chief Commissioner of the Human Rights Commission, Professor Brice Dickson, sent out a clear message on what he wanted to see emerge from the enactment of such a Bill.

He said: “With these proposals for a Bill of Rights we can all begin to believe that a legal system can at last be put in place here which fully protects people against basic injustices. At the same time the Commission recognises that along with rights go duties to exercise those rights responsibly. We do not want a Bill of Rights to be a plaything of lawyers or of politicians: we want it to become embedded in the fabric of society so that people can benefit from it in their daily lives and so that as often as possible problems can be prevented before they arise.”

The SDLP’s Alex Attwood welcomed the publication of the Bill of Rights. He said: “The resolution of issues of rights is central to the resolution of our conflict. The fullest resolution of conflict can best be secured by the fullest range of rights in the proposed Bill of Rights.

“In our submission to the Human Rights Commission and in the coming months, the SDLP shall strongly press for an expansive Bill of Rights covering economic, social, civil, political and community rights.” (CD)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

21 March 2019
Woman Suffers Life-Changing Injuries In Hit-And-Run
A 31-year-old woman has been hospitalised with serious and "potentially life changing" injuries after she was hit by a car that failed to stop. The incident happened on the Ormeau Road at around 10.50pm on Saturday 16 March. Police were called to the scene after a silver vehicle struck the female pedestrian and failed to stop.
25 September 2019
Kevin Lunney: Quinn's Executive Suffers Life Changing Injuries
Detectives investigating the abduction and assault of Fermanagh businessman Kevin Lunney have said he suffered life-changing injuries as a result. Officers conducted a road stop at the scene of the kidnapping on Tuesday evening as they renew their appeal for information one week on from the Quinn Industrial Holding's Chief Executive's ordeal.
20 September 2019
Banbridge Collision Claims Life of Motorcyclist
A man has died after a crash involving a tractor and a motorcycle in Banbridge. The 33-year-old was driving his motorcycle on the Tullyrain Road when the collision occurred shortly after 10am on Thursday morning, 19 September. Police said the driver of the tractor was treated at the scene for shock and taken to hospital as a precaution.
17 September 2019
Top Tips For A Healthy Student Life
Students across Northern Ireland are being reminded to prioritise their health and wellbeing as they embark on a new term at college or university. Freshers' Week kicked off on Monday, with thousands flocking to shared accommodation to prepare for the new academic year.
08 June 2005
Queen’s to debate future of Human Rights Commissions
The future of Human Rights Commissions in the UK and Ireland will be examined at Queen's University Belfast this week. The Human Rights Centre at the Queen's School of Law, in co-operation with the Faculty of Law, University of Bristol, will hold a half-day conference in Belfast on Friday on the role of both Commissions.