European Convention on Human Rights: Northern Ireland

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 4th December 2015.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Lester of Herne Hill Lord Lester of Herne Hill Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Answer by Lord Faulks on 18 November (HL Deb, col 133), what is their assessment of whether they have the power under section 26 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 to give direction to the devolved institutions in Northern Ireland to secure their compliance with the European Human Rights Conventions; and whether the Secretary of State has considered exercising any such power to secure full compliance in Northern Ireland with its obligations under the Convention in relation to equal marriage, blasphemy and defamation.

Photo of Lord Faulks Lord Faulks The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

Under section 26 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 (NIA) the Secretary of State may by order direct that action be taken by a Northern Ireland Minister or department if required for the purpose of giving effect to international obligations. However, international obligations in this context are defined as “any international obligations of the United Kingdom other than obligations to observe and implement EU law or the Convention rights” (Section 98 of the NIA). As such, the power under section 26 cannot be used for the purpose of bringing about action in Northern Ireland to comply with the European Convention on Human Rights.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.