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The Processes of the Unfinished Businesses of the Good Friday/ Belfast Agreement: An All-Island Charter of Rights and the Northern Ireland Bill of Rights

33 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2017  

Anne Smith

Ulster University - Transitional Justice Institute

Leo Green

Ulster University - Transitional Justice Institute

Date Written: October 1, 2017

Abstract

This article examines and contrasts the drafting processes of an all-island Charter of Rights and the Northern Ireland Bill of Rights. By way of background context for contrasting the respective drafting processes the article, drawing on both theory and practical examples, highlights the importance of process in both the drafting of Bills/Charters of Rights and constitution making. The article emphasises the need for a bottom-up approach and an underpinning of such a process with principles reflective of participatory democracy, including transparency, inclusiveness, public participation and responsiveness. Against this background context, the article compares the drafting processes of both the Bill of Rights and the all-island Charter, identifies polar opposite approaches by those charged with responsibility for oversight of the respective processes and sets out possible solutions. The article concludes that a renewed debate on both a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland and an island-wide Charter can play a vital and timely role in informing how best to protect and enhance human rights protections in a rapidly changing political landscape on the island.

Keywords: An All-Island Charter of Rights, The Northern Ireland Bill of Rights, drafting process, participatory democracy

Suggested Citation

Smith, Anne and Green, Leo, The Processes of the Unfinished Businesses of the Good Friday/ Belfast Agreement: An All-Island Charter of Rights and the Northern Ireland Bill of Rights (October 1, 2017). Transitional Justice Institute Research Paper No. 18-04. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3051642

Anne Smith (Contact Author)

Ulster University - Transitional Justice Institute ( email )

Ulster University
Northland Rd, Magee
Co. Derry, County Antrim BT48 7JL
Northern Ireland
44 28 71675154 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.transitionaljustice.ulster.ac.uk//staff_profiles/anne_smith.html

Leo Green

Ulster University - Transitional Justice Institute ( email )

Shore Road
Newtownabbey, County Antrim BT37 OQB
Northern Ireland

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