Assembly Standing Orders

Part of the debate – in the Northern Ireland Assembly on 9th March 1999.

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Photo of Peter Robinson Peter Robinson DUP

It is my understanding that the Standing Orders Committee was attempting to divide human rights and equality issues, recognising that a particular statutory responsibility for human rights has been placed on the Human Rights Commission. There is a real legal difficulty if an Assembly Committee seeks to take over responsibilities which have been given to a statutory body, the Human Rights Commission, no matter what one might think of the present composition of it. I am quite happy that the lawyers look at it and tidy it up in whatever way is necessary. It is not that I want particularly to take out the reference, but we may be getting into legal difficulties if we give a task which has to be performed legally by a Human Rights Commission to a Committee of the Assembly.