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Have your say: Human Rights in Northern Ireland

Consultation on the creation of a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland

This consultation was set up by the Ad Hoc Committee on a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland. The Committee wants to hear your views and understand how you feel about the creation of a Bill of Rights in Northern Ireland.

The Committee's survey has now closed. Thank-you to everyone who took part. The Committee will look at all of your responses and they will all form part of the report into a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland.

Tá suirbhé an Choiste dúnta anois. Go raibh maith agat do gach duine a ghlac páirt. Féachfaidh an Coiste ar do chuid freagraí go léir agus beidh siad uile mar chuid den tuarascáil ar Bhille um Chearta do Thuaisceart Éireann.

Further Information


Human rights are freedoms and protections belonging to everyone.

A bill of rights contains human rights protections for everyone – it is a list of the laws a country agrees to make to protect all the people who live there. It can also contain guiding principles or ideas.

The New Decade, New Approach deal (which paved the way for the Assembly and the other institutions to be restored earlier this year) called for a new Assembly Committee to be set up to consider the creation of a bill of rights.

It said that a bill of rights should be in line with the intentions written in the 1998 Belfast Agreement (the Good Friday Agreement), in that it should have more rights than those we already have through the European Convention on Human Rights.

These extra rights should reflect the ‘particular circumstances’ of Northern Ireland, and the ‘principles of mutual respect for the identity and ethos of both communities and parity of esteem’ - valuing both main communities in Northern Ireland equally.

The deadline to complete the survey has been extended until 5:00PM on Friday, 5th February 2021.


Why was the Ad Hoc Committee on a Bill of Rights set up?

The Ad Hoc Committee on a Bill of Rights was set up following the New Decade, New Approach Agreement in early 2020.  The Committee is tasked with considering the creation of a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland. That includes looking at the implications of a Bill of Rights here and what rights it might include.  The Committee has discussed and received briefings from a wide range of stakeholders and experts in human rights in recent months, but a crucial part of its evidence-gathering is listening to those who are directly affected – you.


What is the consultation about?

This consultation is about the Committee getting your views, listening to what you think and taking on board how you feel about the creation of a Bill of Rights in Northern Ireland.  The results of the consultation will provide valuable information to the Committee and help inform its forward work programme.  The survey is completely anonymous and confidential. If you choose to provide contact details, so you are kept informed of the Committee’s work, these details will not be linked to your responses.


Why should I get involved?

This is your chance to say what you think and how you feel.  Your views and opinions are as important as anyone’s.  To get an understanding of what people who live here think about the creation of a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland, we need to hear from lots of different people. By getting involved you’ll help to ensure that the Committee’s report is reflective of society across Northern Ireland. 


How do I get involved?

You can complete the consultation survey via the link above, request a paper copy, or complete it on the phone with a member of the Assembly Engagement Team.  To arrange paper copies or a phone-call, please contact the Engagement Office on 02890 520321 or email


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