Review of D'Hondt, Community Designation and Provisions for Opposition

The Committee has completed its Review of D’Hondt, Community Designation and Provisions for Opposition.  Please click here to view the Committee’s Report on the Review.  The Report was debated in Assembly Plenary on 2nd July 2013

 

You can also find out what happened during the different phases of the review below:

TERMS OF REFERENCE

The Assembly and Executive Review Committee will review d’Hondt, community designation, and the provisions for Opposition Parties/Non-Executive Parties in the Northern Ireland Assembly to assist them in holding the Executive to account, guaranteeing safeguards and protections to ensure that the institutions operate on an inclusive and power-sharing basis.  The Review will not only address each area separately but examine the interrelationship between the three areas in the context of any proposed changes. 

Phase 1 – REVIEW EVIDENCE GATHERING

The Review took evidence on d’Hondt in relation to:

1) Whether there should be changes in the legislative provision and use of d’Hondt in the Northern Ireland Assembly in the allocation of Ministerial offices and/or Committee Chairpersons and Deputy Chairpersons.

The Review took evidence on community designation in relation to:

1) Whether there should be changes in the legislative provision and use of community designation in the Northern Ireland Assembly. 

The Review took evidence on provisions for Opposition in relation to:

1) Whether the accountability and effectiveness of the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive could be improved through the introduction of provisions to formally recognise Opposition, while retaining the principles of power-sharing and inclusivity.

In particular, the Committee took evidence on whether:

a) Opposition Parties/Non-Executive Parties should be allocated appropriate financial resources to assist in their Assembly duties; 

b) Arrangements for allocating Chairs and Deputy Chairs of Assembly Committees should be changed to take account of a formal Opposition; and 

c) Opposition Parties/Non-Executive Parties should be guaranteed additional time to raise and debate non-Executive business in the Assembly — including priority speaking rights in response to Ministerial Statements and in Question Time. 

Phase 2 – CONSIDERATION AND REPORT

The Committee considered all evidence received in relation to d’Hondt, community designation and provisions for Opposition and report and made it's recommendations to the Assembly on these matters by early June 2013.

Submissions were made using the Stakeholder 'Call for Evidence' Paper

EVIDENCE SESSIONS

26th February 2013
Professor Rick Wilford, Queen's University Belfast
 

Click here to view Professor Wilford's submission.

Click here to view the Hansard report of the meeting.

5th March 2013 Professor Christopher McCrudden, Queen’s University Belfast/University of Oxford, and Professor Brendan O’Leary, University of Pennsylvania
 

Click here to view a joint memorandum by Professor McCrudden; Professor O’Leary; Professor John McGarry, Queen’s University Canada; and Professor Alex Schwartz, Queen’s University Canada.

Click here to view a paper from Professor McCrudden on the Legality of the current arrangements.

Click here to view a paper from Professor O’Leary showing Simulations regarding the likely consequences of changing the number of MLAs returned per existing constituency.

Click here to view the Hansard report of the meeting. 


19th March 2013

Professor Derek Birrell, University of Ulster

 

Click here to view Professor Birrell’s submission.

Click here to view the Hansard report of the meeting.

23rd April 2013 Professor Yvonne Galligan, Queen's University Belfast
 

Click here to view Professor Galligan’s submission.

Click here to view the Hansard report of the meeting.

7th May 2013 Platform for Change
 

Click here to view the Platform for Change submission.

Click here to view the Hansard report of the meeting.

 

Upon completion of the review the Committee produced it's findings in their report which is available here.

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