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The Agreement and devolved social security: a missed opportunity for socio-economic rights in Northern Ireland?

Simpson, Mark (2015) The Agreement and devolved social security: a missed opportunity for socio-economic rights in Northern Ireland? Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, 66 (2). pp. 105-126. [Journal article]

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Abstract

The UK government makes three key human rights-related commitments in the Good Friday Agreement, the basis for the restoration of devolution and transition from conflict to peace in Northern Ireland: incorporate the European Convention on Human Rights into Northern Ireland law, consider proposals for a regional Bill of Rights and ensure compliance with the state’s international obligations in the region. While ECHR compliance is required of devolved institutions by the constitutional legislation, the prospects of a Bill of Rights being enacted appear limited and oversight of compliance with other international obligations is unsatisfactorily placed in political, rather than judicial, hands. Consequently, protection of socio-economic rights beyond those covered by ECHR is weak. This paper argues that judicial protection of socio-economic rights – whether in the form of a Bill of Rights or the incorporation of additional human rights agreements into Northern Ireland law – is required for full implementation of the Agreement. It then considers the implications of such a step for social security in the region. The concluding section highlights political and fiscal implications that would have to be considered.

Item Type:Journal article
Keywords:Good Friday Agreement Devolution Social Security Social and economic rights
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Law
Faculty of Social Sciences
ID Code:34868
Deposited By: Dr Mark Simpson
Deposited On:12 Jul 2016 10:13
Last Modified:17 Oct 2017 16:23

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