Learn more about how the Assembly works
MLAs - Members of the Legislative Assembly - can help you if you have concerns about matters such as policing and justice, health and social care, tourism and trade and investment. There are 90 MLAs and everyone in Northern Ireland has five MLAs in their constituency who represent them.
How the Assembly works
The Northern Ireland Assembly and the Executive were set up following the 1998 Belfast Agreement, also known as the Good Friday Agreement. The Northern Ireland Assembly meets in Parliament Buildings, Belfast. The Executive or government for Northern Ireland, meets nearby in Stormont Castle and is made up of government ministers from different parties.
What is Plenary?
A plenary session is where MLAs meet in the Assembly Chamber to debate proposed Bills and discuss Motions. These meetings are open to the public and usually held on Mondays and Tuesdays.
What is a Committee?
Committees are groups of MLAs (Members of the Legislative Assembly) who look at specific subjects such as health, education, justice and more. Committee members come from different political parties. Committees:
- hold the Northern Ireland Executive (the government) to account;
- hold inquiries ask for your views examine bills (proposed laws) and decide on amendments (changes);
- introduce their own bills
- Committees have a remit which says what areas they are responsible for. Committees can look at anything in their remit.