Research Publications 2014

Synopsis The Northern Ireland Assembly Research and Information Service (RaISe) produces a number of Research publications each year. These cover a variety of topics which are of interest to Members, Committees and the general public.

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Date

85/14

Justice Bill 2014
This paper outlines the provisions of the Justice Bill and policy proposals underpinning the Bill.

15.09.14
84/14

Student Hardship Fund
This paper provides a brief discussion of the Student Hardship Fund available to students studying in Northern Ireland’s Regional Colleges.

04.09.14
83/14

Carrier bags – Environmental Impact
This paper is an update to the research paper from 2011 Comparison of Environmental Impact of Plastic, Paper and Cloth Bags. It details some of the most referenced and peer reviewed research that has been conducted on the overall environmental impacts of different types of carrier bags.

09.07.14
82/14

Year-end surges in Northern Ireland departmental expenditure
This Research Paper presents a review of available evidence in relation to expenditure surges at the end of the fiscal year in the public sector. The Paper discusses some possible implications that may arise from such year-end surges, where they are not justified by business needs. It also presents analysis of Northern Ireland departmental data that confirms that year-end surges were a feature of public expenditure in Northern Ireland over the 2010-11 to 2012-13 period.

03.07.14
81/14

The Childcare Payments Bill 2014-15: Legislative Consent Motion
The UK Government announced in the Queen’s Speech on 5 June 2014 its intention to introduce a Childcare Payments Bill which would create a new scheme to give working families a proportion of their childcare costs. The UK Government will be seeking the Assembly’s approval of a Legislative Consent Motion (LCM) in respect of some of the provisions of the Bill. The LCM and Bill are brought to this Committee as OFMdFM is the lead department on strategy for childcare. This paper outlines the purpose of the Bill and the Legislative Consent Motion.

03.07.14
80/14

European Investment Bank: Financial Assistance for UK Local Government
This paper supplements RaISe briefing NIAR 219-14 (dated 1 May 2014) for the Committee for Finance and Personnel (the Committee). It is provided in response to the Committee’s request for further information about European Investment Bank (EIB) loans to local government in the United Kingdom. The paper also provides information that is relevant to the Committee’s consideration of the Department of Finance and Personnel’s view about the use of EIB loans by Executive departments in Northern Ireland.

27.06.14
79/14

Who Runs Northern Ireland? A Summary of Statistics Relating to Gender and Power 
This Briefing Paper is prepared in the context of the review by the Assembly and Executive Review Committee (AERC) of the representation of women in the Northern Ireland Assembly.  The paper summarises statistics on gender representation in decision-making positions in Northern Ireland.

24/06/14
 78/14

Local Elections 2014: Results by Party and Gender
This Briefing Note has been prepared in the context of the Assembly and Executive Review Committee review on women in the Northern Ireland Assembly . The Note should be read in conjunction with Research and Information Service Briefing Note Candidates for the 2014 Elections in Northern Ireland by Gender.

 24/06/14
77/14

Visual Impairment and Educational Attainment
This paper gives a background to visual impairment by summarising childhood vision development. It then outlines the incidence of visual impairment and its effect on development and academic attainment, making reference to a number of academic studies. Finally, the paper examines Visual Stress, and discusses the challenges faced by pupils with this condition.

20.06.14
76/14

Services for Children with Visual Impairment
This paper gives an overview of services available for school children with visual impairment in the United Kingdom. It makes reference to referral, waiting times, formal benchmarking and the nature of services available.

20.06.14
75/14

Peacebuilding in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Mostar and Brčko
This Briefing Note supplements the Briefing Paper Peace Building Initiatives: Examples Outside Northern Ireland (74/14), prepared for the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister in the context of scrutinising community relations policy in Northern Ireland.

19.06.14
74/14

Peace Building Initiatives: Examples Outside Northern Ireland
This paper has been written in relation to an inquiry by the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister (OFMdFM) into the current strategy for good relations and reconciliation in Northern Ireland, Together: Building a United Community (TBUC).

19.06.14
73/14

Rural isolation, poverty and rural community/farmer wellbeing – scoping paper
This scoping paper explores the topical issues of rural isolation, poverty and rural community/farmer wellbeing, which have been identified as topics of interest by the Members of the ARD Committee.

18.06.14
72/14

Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill
This paper considers the Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill for Northern Ireland as introduced to the Assembly on 12 May 2014.  It should be considered as an introduction to the Bill, where it gives a brief overview of the provisions and considers some of the issues/impacts surrounding it.

16.06.14
71/14

Accountability systems for legislators’ staff and guidance on sanctions for misconduct.
The Committee on Standards and Privileges asked for this paper as part of its ongoing review of the Northern Ireland Assembly’s Code of Conduct.

12.06.14
70/14

Codes of Conduct, contempt and developments in relation to the rules on Members’ Interests in UK legislatures.
This briefing paper has been prepared for the Committee on Standards and Privileges to inform its review of the Code of Conduct for Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

12.06.14
69/14

Rules on the receipt of gifts and hospitality
This paper sets out the position on the receipt of gifts and hospitality in other legislatures, the Judiciary and the Civil Service. The Assembly’s Committee on Standards and Privileges commissioned this paper to inform its review of the Assembly’s Code of Conduct. As part of this review, the Committee is considering issues raised in a report by the Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO).

12.06.14
68/14

Renewable Energy Initiatives within the Public Sector
The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of initiatives taken within the public sector to implement forms of renewable energy, with a particular emphasis on measures taken by local authorities

12.06.14
67/14

Rates reliefs for Amateur Sports Clubs: comparative information
This Briefing Paper presents details of reliefs from non-domestic rates for Community Amateur Sports Clubs in the United Kingdom. It also explains the rates exemption for land used for sporting activities in the Republic of Ireland.

12.06.14
66/14

Post-Secondary Support for People with Learning Disabilities in Great Britain
This paper discusses the government support provided for people with learning disabilities in Great Britain. The paper is part of a series of work carried out by RaISe for the Committee for Employment and Learning’s Inquiry into post Special Educational Need (SEN) Provision in education, employment and training for those with Learning Disabilities in Northern Ireland.

11.06.14
65/14

Transition Planning for Young People with Learning Disabilities in Great Britain
This paper provides an overview of transition planning services provided to young people with learning disabilities as they move from children’s services to adult services in England, Scotland and Wales.

11.06.14
64/14

International Methods of Gathering Learning Disability Prevalence Statistics.
This paper will identify and discuss methods of data collection on people with Learning Disabilities (LD) used by countries outside Northern Ireland. It forms part of a series of papers on LD by RaISe for the Committee for Employment and Learnings inquiry into post-secondary support for people with learning disabilities. This paper should be considered a companion paper to NIAR 259-2014 which discussed statistics on people with learning disabilities in Northern Ireland.

11.06.14
63/14

Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Northern Ireland
This Research Paper briefly summarises issues for refugees and asylum seekers in Northern Ireland.

11.06.14
62/14

Defamation and the Dead
This Briefing Paper is written in the context of the consideration by the Committee for Finance and Personnel of a proposed Private Member’s Bill in relation to defamation .  The paper supplements previous papers on this subject .

11.06.14
61/14

Prescriptions: Costs and charges in the UK and Republic of Ireland
This paper provides a brief overview of prescription costs and charges in Northern Ireland and compares this data with other jurisdictions in the UK and the Republic of Ireland (ROI). Private prescriptions are not considered in this paper.

10.06.14
60/14

Census 2011: Key Statistics at LGD 2014 level
This Research Paper updates NIAR 5-13, which contained Key Statistics for the old 26 council areas, with a selected list of key statistics for the eleven new local government districts (LGD 2014).

10.06.14
59/14

A brief explanation of Shari‘a law
Shari‘a is an Arabic word which means the ‘way’ or ‘path’. It is often described as an Islamic legal code, but what is it and how does it work?

06.06.14
58/14

Comparative Research on Legal Complaints and Regulation This paper examines the provisions in the draft Legal Complaints and Regulation Bill (Northern Ireland) 2013 and provides comparative information on legal complaints systems in England and Wales, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland.

04.06.14
57/14

The Use of Quotas to Increase the Political Representation of Women
This Briefing Paper has been prepared in the context of the Assembly and Executive Review Committee review of the representation of women in the Northern Ireland Assembly. It supplements a previous Research Paper, Women in the Northern Ireland Assembly. A brief overview of the rationale behind the use of quotas is given, a survey of types of quota, a summary where they are in use and some discussion on their effectiveness is undertaken.

27.05.14
56/14

Female Candidates in Local Elections in Northern Ireland
This Note has been prepared in the context of the Assembly and Executive Review Committee review on women in the Northern Ireland Assembly. The Note summarises female candidates by party in local elections in Northern Ireland.

27.05.14
55/14 Emergency Care in Northern Ireland: 2012/13 update
This paper provides an overview of the latest data from the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) regarding emergency care.  Data is mainly taken from 2012/13 and compared with data from previous years.
27.05.14
54/14 Marriage of same sex couples across the UK: What’s the same and what’s different?
This paper provides information about the similarities and differences relating to marriage of same sex couples and the legislation which provides for it, as well as about the similarities and differences relating to marriage of opposite sex couples and civil partnership across the UK.
15.05.14
53/14 Regional and minority language academies
This paper summarises the role and services provided by a selection of regional and minority language academies around the world, highlighting a number of common features.
12.05.14
52/14 European Investment Bank – Potential Financial Assistance Opportunities for Northern Ireland
This paper provides an overview of key financial assistance opportunities via the European Investment Bank (EIB), which could be availed of when seeking to support infrastructure investment in Northern Ireland.
08.05.14
51/14 Preventative Expenditure
This Research Paper examines Preventative Expenditure initiatives in the United Kingdom, with particular emphasis on Scotland and its Budgeting for Prevention? programme.
08.05.14
50/14 Statistics on People with Learning Disabilities in Northern Ireland
This paper identifies and discusses publically available statistics on people with learning disabilities in Northern Ireland.  It provides data on prevalence of learning disabilities in Northern Ireland, Higher Education and Further Education participation of people with learning disabilities and people with learning disabilities in employment.
This paper forms part of the Committee for Employment and Learnings Inquiry into post-secondary support for people with learning disabilities and Special Educational Needs (SEN) in Northern Ireland.
08.05.14
49/14 European Commission Legislative & Non Legislative Proposals Q2 2014
This paper provides spreadsheets detailing European Commission legislative and non-legislative proposals Q2 2014
07.05.14
48/14 Candidates for the 2014 Elections in Northern Ireland by Gender
This Briefing Note supplements previous papers  written in the context of a review by the Assembly and Executive Review Committee of the representation of women in the Northern Ireland Assembly.  The Note summarises candidates for the European and local government election in Northern Ireland by gender.
06.05.14
47/14 Women in Local Councils: Statistical Overview
This Briefing Note supplements previous papers written in the context of a review by the Assembly and Executive Review Committee review of the representation of women in the Northern Ireland Assembly.  The Note gives figures for women’s representation in local councils in England, Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland 1999-2012.
06.05.14
46/14 Women in the Northern Ireland Assembly - Update
This note has been prepared for the Assembly and Executive Review Committee (AERC) in the context of the Committee’s consideration of topics for review. The note updates the Research Paper 'Women in the Northern Ireland Assembly' presented to the AERC on 10 September 2013.
06.05.14
45/14

Census 2011: Detailed Characteristics of Housing, the Labour Market, and Voluntary Work at the Northern Ireland Level.
This Paper focuses on the topics of Housing, the Labour Market and Voluntary Work. It considers how they interact with a series of variables, including age, religion, household size, tenure, health and education.

29.04.14
44/14

Women and sport: A summary of potential issues
This paper examines current participation levels of women in sport and physical activity in both Northern Ireland and elsewhere. It summarises the nature of current strategies and policies around this issue, before suggesting a number of potential issues for further consideration.

15.04.14
43/14

Substance Misuse
Background briefing jointly prepared by the Research and Information Service (RaISe) of the Northern Ireland Assembly and by the Library & Research Service (L&RS) of the Houses of the Oireachtas (Tithe an Oireachtais).

10.04.14
42/14

Legal Aid and Coroners’ Courts Bill
This paper outlines the main provisions of the Bill and considers what the Bill means for the delivery of legal aid and the Coroners’ Court.

 
41/14

Scottish Universities – Proof of Residence: Update
This paper briefly discusses the proof of residence requirements to be met in order to be considered eligible for free tuition (‘home fees’) as an EU student in Scottish universities.  The paper provides an update to the Briefing Note ‘Scottish Universities – Proof of Residence’, originally published in October 2012.

10.04.14
40/14

Models of Support for People with Learning Disabilities Post-Secondary School
This paper provides examples of models of support for individuals with learning disabilities and Special Education Needs (SEN) who have left the education system.

03.04.14
39/14

Post-Secondary School Provision for People with Special Education Needs in Northern Ireland
This paper provides a brief introduction to the provision for people in Northern Ireland (NI) with Special Education Needs (SEN) and/or Learning Disabilities (LD) who have left the secondary school system.   This paper is intended as a companion piece to NIAR 936-2013 on International Examples of post-secondary SEN Provision.

03.04.14
38/14

Science in the Revised Curriculum
There has been little research carried out to investigate the impact of the revised curriculum on the teaching of science. This paper makes reference to the limited number of studies that have been undertaken in this area. It should be noted that the Education and Training Inspectorate will undertake an evaluation survey of the World Around Us. This will be complete in June 2014.

26.03.14
37/14

Defamation in Scotland and the Republic of Ireland
The Committee for Finance and Personnel commissioned background research into the approaches adopted by the Scottish Parliament and the Oireachtas with respect to defamation law. This paper supplements Briefing Paper 90/13 ‘The Defamation Act 2013’ , presented to the Committee for Finance and Personnel on 26 June 2013. The paper considers defamation law in Scotland and the Republic of Ireland in the light of legislative change in England and Wales brought about by the Defamation Act 2013.

26.03.14
36/14

Caring for an aging population: TYC proposals
The most radical DHSSPS proposals to change how the health and social care system currently operates is known as Transforming Your Care (TYC). In the original TYC publication (2011), the theme of ‘older people’ was listed as one of ten major areas of care requiring transformation. This paper explores the issues surrounding this theme in more detail.

13.03.14
35/14

Framework Programme 7: Per Capita Statistics for 2007-2013
This briefing note is provided in response to a request for further information on European Union (EU) competitive funding in Northern Ireland. It supplements RaISe briefing NIAR 795-13 for the Committee for the Office of the First and deputy First Minister.

07.03.14
34/14

Call –in: Protection of minorities in divided societies
The following paper is a response to a request from the Environment Committee on call-in procedures in divided societies and the consideration of minorities. The paper explores examples from the UK and internationally in relation to commitments made under the Constitution for Kosovo.

04.03.14
33/14

Call-in operation in England and Wales
The Environment Committee requested information on the use of call-in by local authorities in England, with interest in examples of its operation. The following paper refers to reviews of call-in powers conducted for both England and Wales.

04.03.14
32/14

Breaches of the Code of Conduct for Councillors
This briefing note is in response to a request for information from the Environment Committee and considers the sanctions available in both England and Wales in relation to breaches of the code of conduct for councillors.

04.03.14
31/14

Publication pending

 
30/14

Provisions Contained in the EU Tobacco Products Directive
The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the provisions contained within the revised Tobacco Products Directive (TPD). It assesses the implementation and potential impact on Member-States of the proposed revision to the TPD, whilst offering some context for Northern Ireland’s tobacco industry.

26.02.14
29/14

Specialised Grouped Housing for Older People - Introductory Briefing
This briefing paper provides an introduction to the subject of specialist grouped housing for older people, often referred to as sheltered housing.  The focus of this briefing is the policy around, and examples of, this type of housing in Northern Ireland and also the outworkings of the Housing our Ageing Population: Panel for Innovation (HAPPI). 

20.02.14
28/14

The Scottish Qualification Authority: Quality Assurance and Governance
This briefing note outlines the quality assurance arrangements and governance model adopted by the SQA. It also refers to the separation of awarding and accrediting functions and makes comparison to the system in Northern Ireland.

19.02.14
27/14

Parent Councils
This briefing note looks at the Scottish Schools (Parent Involvement) Act 2006 which established a new model of parent representation and came into effect on 1 August 2007. The Act replaced School Boards with Parent Councils, designed to be less formal and friendlier to encourage more parents to get involved school issues.

19.02.14
26/14

Language Immersion
This briefing note gives an overview of the immersion systems used as a technique of teaching a second language in the Republic of Ireland, Wales and Scotland. It also makes reference the provisions made to inspect schools which adopt the immersion model.

19.02.14
25/14

Complaints Procedures for School Inspections
This paper summarises the processes with respect to school inspections by the Education and Training Inspectorate in Northern Ireland (ETI), Ofsted in England, HM Inspectorate of Education in Scotland, Estyn in Wales & the Inspectorate in the Republic of Ireland.

19.02.14
24/14

Inspections: Notification and Information
This briefing note outlines the notice period given to schools in advance of an inspection in the various jurisdictions. It also details the information and documents that the respective inspectorates request from schools.

18.02.14
23/14

Inspectorate Governance and Budget: England, Scotland and Finland
This paper summarises who has the power to make decisions and how account is rendered with respect to the school inspectorates in England, Scotland and Finland. It also makes reference to the budgetary arrangements for the inspectorates in England and Scotland.

18.02.14
22/14

European Funding Streams: Education
This Briefing Note provides an overview of non-competitive & competitive EU funding.

18.02.14
21/14

The Reservoirs Bill
This Bill paper provides an overview of the Reservoirs Bill as introduced to the Assembly on the 20th January 2014. The paper also identifies those areas within the Bill which may be contentious and, where relevant, compares similar legislation within England, Scotland and Wales

13.02.14
20/14

Human Rights and Equality Proofing of Public Bills
This paper outlines the procedures by which legislation made by the Northern Ireland Assembly is scrutinised on human rights and equality grounds. The paper is written in the context of the Assembly and Executive Review Committee’s (A&ERC) Review of Petitions of Concern.

11.02.14
19/14

European Commission Legislative & Non Legislative Proposals Q1 2014
This paper provides spreadsheets detailing European Commission legislative and non-legislative proposals Q1 2014

07.02.14
 18/14

European Commission Legislative & Non Legislative Proposals Q4 2013
This paper provides spreadsheets detailing European Commission legislative and non-legislative proposals Q4 2013.

 07.02.14
17/14

Electoral Registration statistics and voting patterns
This Briefing Note reviews voting behaviour in the Northern Ireland Assembly Elections, held on 5 May 2011. In particular, as requested, the note will consider the following three questions:

  1.  The percentage turnout by constituency.
  2.  The percentage of women who voted and / or registered to vote by constituency; and
  3.  The percentage of the population registered as an ethnic minority by constituency (2013)

 

05.01.14
16/14

Waiting Times - Supplementary ‘Issues’ Briefing on the 18 Week RTT Policy in England and Scotland
As waiting time policies for elective care in England and Scotland have been in place for a number of years (particularly in England), this briefing paper takes a look at a range of the issues that have arisen in England and Scotland (and possible lessons to take) from the outworking of the policies in order to further inform the Committee review.

31.01.14
15/14

Review of Gender Issues in Northern Ireland
This paper briefly summarises some of the recent developments in Northern Ireland on issues related to gender.

28.01.14
14/14

Electricity prices: European comparisons
This paper compares domestic and industrial electricity prices across 32 European countries. The allocation of component costs on a per kilowatt charge basis is also examined.

27.01.14
13/14

Power NI: Hedging
The Utility Regulator requires a company to outline its hedging policy in advance in a hedging policy statement. The purpose of this paper is to provide a brief overview of this hedging policy statement and to outline the hedging products available to electricity suppliers within the Single Electricity Market (SEM). It has not been possible to provide specific details of Power NI’s historic hedges as this information is commercially sensitive.

27.01.14
12/14

Power NI: tariff methodology
This paper supplements Northern Ireland Assembly Research and Information Service paper 11/14 ‘Electricity tariffs: components and legislative underpinnings’. It does so by outlining how Power NI’s total allowable revenue is broken down into the pence per kilowatt hour (p/kWh) rate consumers pay for their electricity.  Information on this is limited due to commercial sensitivity.1 It is therefore, only possible to discuss the tariff methodology in general terms. 

27.01.14
11/14

Electricity tariffs: components and legislative underpinnings
This paper provides a brief outline of the legislation which underpins the Northern Ireland electricity market. The latter part of the paper provides a breakdown of Power NI’s retail tariff and outlines the reasons for the recent increase in these component parts. The focus on Power NI’s retail tariff is due to that fact that it is the only tariff upon which all details are publicly available since it is a regulated tariff.  

27.01.14
10/14

Electricity: security of supply
This paper provides an overview of evidence presented to the Enterprise, Trade and Investment Committee1 on the issue of electricity security of supply. To provide context the paper begins by examining historic electricity consumption in Northern Ireland and outlining forecasted consumption until 2022.

27.01.14
09/14

Women in the Northern Ireland Assembly
This paper summarises the background to women’s representation in politics, outlines the legislative frameworks relevant to women’s representation in the Northern Ireland Assembly and reviews some mechanisms for increasing female representation.

21.01.14
08/14

Governance models for sport across the UK and Ireland
This paper examines the different governance models adopted by the sports councils across the UK and some of the different ways in which local councils deliver their sports services. It includes some information on the relationship between sports bodies and local government.

21.01.14
07/14

Statutory Bodies in Community Planning: Scotland
This paper is in response to a request from the Environment Committee on the contribution of statutory bodies to community planning in Scotland. The paper describes the connection made between statutory planning partners under the Local Government Bill in Northern Ireland, for comparison with the detail given on the situation in Scotland.

21.01.14
06/14

General Power of Competence in England
This paper considers the General Power of Competence under the Localism Act 2011. As requested by the Environment Committee, it provides information on the use of the power by local authorities throughout England. The power came into force in 2012, therefore reviews and information on its implementation is relatively limited.

21.01.14
05/14

Commissioner for Complaints in other jurisdictions
This briefing paper considers the roles of the Commissioner for Complaints in other jurisdictions, in particular, the system used under the Localism Act in England; however it also briefly explores the approaches used in Wales and Scotland.

20.01.14
04/14

Call–in
This briefing note is in response to a request from the Environment Committee on the process for call in as stated under the Local Government Bill, and consideration of the process in other jurisdictions such as England and Scotland.

20.01.14
03/14

Single Transferable Vote: Operation in the new councils
This paper is a supplementary to the briefing note on Single Transferable Vote (STV) (NIAR 854-13). Information on how STV may operate in the new councils was discussed with Departmental Officials.  Detail on the specific operations of STV has not been confirmed as yet; therefore information provided in this paper may alter in any resulting guidance to come.

06.02.14
02/14

Single Transferable Vote
This briefing note is in response to a request from the Environment Committee on information surrounding the Single Transferable Vote (STV) model.

20.01.14
01/14 Standing Committees that examine conformity with human rights and equality issues in legislatures in the UK and Ireland
This briefing paper has been prepared following a request from the Assembly & Executive Review Committee for information, where it exists, on the role and remit of any Standing Committees in the UK and Ireland examining conformity with human rights and equality issues, their membership and the main processes of these Committees.
15.01.14

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