Research Papers 2011

Synopsis: Here you will find a list of Assembly and Executive Review Committee research papers published during 2011.

Size of the Northern Ireland Assembly

- Date: 21/12/2011 - Author: Ray McCaffrey, Tim Moore and Leigh Egerton

This research paper looks at issues surrounding a reduction in the number of MLAs and/or Executive Departments in Northern Ireland. It looks at options for reforming the committee system including the constraints within which the current system operates. It also considers the resource implications on MLAs’ time if changes are made to the size, number and structure of committees.

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Length of Assembly Mandate

- Date: 15/11/2011 - Author: Ray McCaffrey

This briefing paper looks at issues surrounding the length of the mandate of the Northern Ireland Assembly in respect of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act 2011.

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Aspects of Opposition

- Date: 09/11/2011 - Author: Ray McCaffrey

This paper outlines three key issues to consider in the possible formation of an Opposition within the Assembly – financial assistance, parliamentary time and the composition of committees. It looks at how the House of Commons, Scottish Parliament and National Assembly for Wales facilitate opposition with regard to these factors.

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Department of Justice Sunset Clause

- Date: 18/10/2011 - Author: Ray McCaffrey & Tim Moore

During the previous mandate (2007-2011) the Assembly and Executive Review Committee undertook an inquiry into the proposed devolution of policing and justice powers to the Assembly. During the inquiry, the Office of the First and deputy First Minister communicated to the Committee that it had agreed a way forward on the discharge of policing and justice functions. The letter, dated 18 November 2008, stated that: “The…arrangements would be subject to a sunset clause which would bring them to an end not later than May 2012” . This briefing note includes a chart which sets out the broad legislative framework from which options available to the Assembly in the response to the May 2012 deadline can be identified or derived.

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Relationships between Committees and Departments

- Date: 01/07/2011 - Author: Ray McCaffrey

This briefing note looks at the committee structure in the Scottish Parliament, National Assembly for Wales, the House of Commons and Dáil Éireann. In particular, it looks at how departmental committees relate to government departments.

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The Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011

- Date: 10/03/2011 - Author: Ray McCaffrey

This briefing paper looks at the key provisions relating to Northern Ireland in the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act (the Act) which received Royal Assent on 16 February 2011. The Act has two key components - it provides for a referendum to be held on 5 May 2011 on the voting system for UK Parliamentary elections and reduces the number of Parliamentary constituencies in the UK from 650 to 600.

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