Northern Ireland, Human Rights and Security…

The Institute of British and Irish Studies at UCD has its Annual Conference coming up next Thursday. This year’s theme is Human Rights and Security. The opening speech is from Michael McDowell. And there is serious interest for NI watchers. Amongst them Hegemony, The ‘War on Terror’ and the NI Experience from Colm Campbell, Transitional Justice Institute, at University of Ulster; and a more generalised session on NI with Promoting and Protecting Human Rights from Colin Harvey of the Human Rights Centre, at Queen’s and Six Years on: Police Reform and Conflict Resolution in Northern Ireland from Dr Graham Ellison also from Queen’s. Talk money and bookings to Susan Muldoon at IBIS, University College Dublin, Dublin 4 on: +353-1-716 8670 fax: +353-1-716 1171 or email: ibis@ucd.ie. Concessions available.

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  • M. Gibbs, Chicago

    “This year’s theme is Human Rights and Security. The opening speech is from Michael McDowell.”

    When it comes to human rights, McDowell is right up there with some of Bush’s staunchest allies in his “war on whatever he reckons is terrorism”, like the bosses in places like Uzbekistan, Turkmenestan and Egypt. In fact, McDowell can learn rather than lecture in Northern Ireland, where they seem to be at least trying to make the police more accountable and reduce violations of human rights. As for security for ordinary people in his jurisdiction, don’t get me started … You might as well make Robery Mugabe the keynote speaker at a Gay Rights conference.

  • Mayoman

    Totally agree. [Comment removed. Try addressing the ball next time. – Mick]

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    MG,

    He’s only giving the keynote. Looks like there’s lot’s of good stuff happening on the day.

  • Mayoman

    Sorry Mick. Re-phrasing. I suggest that Mr McDowell’s use of un-conventional methods of administration of justice in the ‘guise’ of national security, including the flagrant mis-use of parliamentary pivilege, may, in somepeople’s view, make him an unwise/controversial choice to discuss such a topic.

  • aquifer

    Nice thing about McDowell is that he is elected and we can kick him out of his job if he fails to do it ethically enough. Not so with some of the people he is reliably down on.

  • Mayoman

    I’m afraid you’re wrong aquifer. MMcD is Minister for Justice despite the fact that 97% of the country want nothing to do with his party. Now there’s political perversion for you! In the next election, me, and at least 97% of the nation, will again vote to have nothing to do with this man. Yet he may still be forced on us because of quirk of PR.

  • Occasional Commenter

    Mayoman,
    it’s got nothing to do with PR. If it was a First Past the Post system, it’s still possible that a member of a small party which holds the balance of power would get a big job in the Cabinet. The electorate can still hold FF to account for giving him the job if they like.

    aquifer,
    How can we democratically throw him out of office if he abuses his power in order to ban dissent and discussion and to allow the police to sieze and search without any justification? Freedom of speech and assembly, and privacy are prerequisites for a functioning democracy.

  • Mayoman

    Aquifer — possible, but not likely (any examples where such a marginal party reached such high cabinet levels outside of Ireland?)! Still an abberation of democracy, still an unrepresentative voice given too much power, still a man unworthy of his position.

  • Mick Fealty

    Interesting that the Republic has consistently returned coalitions. But the PDs have been better than most of their minority predecessors at exploiting the opportunities offered them.

  • lib2016

    Wasn’t there some small group who had an influence far beyond what their numbers warranted during the last Conservative administration. The name’s on the tip of my tongue. Ah, got it – the B******s, wasn’t it? 😉