“A Northern Ireland Bill of Rights Is Wrong”

The proposed Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland has come under attack from an unexpected quarter, the Church of Ireland Gazette. The latest editorial has called for the proposals to be dropped. It describes the case for a bill as “weak” and “special pleading”. It argues the process has a political agenda:

“It is obvious that there are those in the Stormont establishment who want a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland, as opposed to the UK as a whole, because they want Northern Ireland to relate more closely to the Republic of Ireland than to the rest of the UK. That is an undemocratic and, therefore, unacceptable agenda.
“A Bill of Rights is such a foundational document that, if there has to be one, it should refer to the entire UK; it would be inconsistent for there to be different fundamental rights in different parts of the one country. For many reasons, a Northern Ireland Bill of Rights is plainly and simply wrong.”

Both the source and nature of the attack are somewhat surprising although the arguments over sexual orientation regulations may have cooled Anglican attitudes to the human rights agenda. IF the editorial is representative of Church thinking then the Bill of Rights Forum process appears not to be increasing buy in and would increase the wiggle room of the Unionist parties who have been consistently cool on the notion. Also the editorial’s preferred option, a UK wide process, is presently being considered as part of the Governance of Britian consultations (pdf file).

  • Dewi
  • willowfield

    You don’t understand. You’re out of your depth.

    afraid not willow ‘High Contracting Party between its armed forces and dissident armed forces or other organized armed groups’

    And? What is the purpose of this quotation? What point are you trying to argue?

    it there just where you pasted it, good man.

    What is?

    and i don’t see the word ‘war’ in any of your cut and paste, so it seems that indeed it is you who is having the difficulty in understanding.

    It refers to armed conflicts, which I already told you is the legal term for war.

    and once again the conventions were established to ‘police’ warfare, not as you imply, how to go about declaring one, or establishing which conflicts are or are not wars.

    Indeed, the conventions were established to ‘police’ warfare, but in order to do so it is obviously necessary to define when a war is taking place and thence whether the conventions apply.

    In NI, there was no war, therefore the conventions didn’t apply. Do you recall the conventions ever being invoked in NI? No? That’ll be because they weren’t because there was no war in any legal sense.

  • RepublicanStones

    they were not invoked because the republican side did not constitute a country, im not aware of sperate armed groups being allowed to sign up to them. remember it was you who first mentioned the conventions in order to try and prove your point, which unfortunately you not succeeded in doing. so you say it was no war, no armed conflict?????? just a terrorist campaign, i think we both know that is a revsionism, zionists would be proud of. to actually believe there was no armed conflict is frankly ‘walter mittyesque’ in the extreme.

  • éireannach saolta

    Dewi I think that was a good link. Although I think the thread is drifting a bit.

    The conflict was a war in the same way that the Irish war of Independence was. The Irish war of independence in the same way as the conflict here was fought.

    Looking at the sectarian representatives leading both sides one can only come to the conclusion that a BoR is necessary. However parties which fed the violence like Sinn Féin and the DUP should never be involved. They should be sidelined. That said if their is a Bill I am sure they will want to put their sectarian stamps on it. We should leave it to the experts and not politicians ..

  • éireannach saolta

    sorry was meant to read
    The conflict was a war in the same way that the Irish war of Independence was. The Irish war of independence was fought in the same way as the conflict here was fought.

  • willowfield

    RepublicanStones

    It might aid comprehension if you could write in paragraphs and properly punctuate your sentences.

    they were not invoked because the republican side did not constitute a country

    If you had read the extract from the Conventions that I posted, you would have seen that the Conventions apply not only to conflicts between states, but also to conflicts “which take place in the territory of a High Contracting Party between its armed forces and dissident armed forces or other organized armed groups”. In the case of the NI troubles, however, they did not meet the definition to be legally recognised as a war.

    im not aware of sperate armed groups being allowed to sign up to them.

    You don’t have to sign up to them for them to apply. Regardless, the UK is a signatory, so they would have applied anyway, should the Troubles legally have been a war.

    remember it was you who first mentioned the conventions in order to try and prove your point, which unfortunately you not succeeded in doing.

    I did. And your repeated unsubstantiated assertions do not mean that the Troubles were legally a war. On the contrary, they were not a war: the Conventions did not apply; they were not recognised as a war by any authority anywhere; even the Provo and loyalist death squads did not assert that a state of war existed in legal terms, despite appropriating the language of war, when convenient, for their own self-serving interests.

    so you say it was no war, no armed conflict??????

    It was not a war or armed conflict in any legal sense.

    just a terrorist campaign, i think we both know that is a revsionism, zionists would be proud of.

    How can it be revisionism when it has never been the case that the Troubles were considered legally to be a war? There is nothing to revise.

    to actually believe there was no armed conflict is frankly ‘walter mittyesque’ in the extreme.

    It was not an armed conflict in any legal sense. You have failed utterly to demonstrate otherwise.

    Eireannach saolta

    The conflict was a war in the same way that the Irish war of Independence was. The conflict was a war in the same way that the Irish war of Independence was. The Irish war of independence was fought in the same way as the conflict here was fought.

    I’m not clear about the legal status of the Irish war of independence, but I am clear that it was not comparable to the NI Troubles. As I understand it, for example, the IRA had effective control over territory and there was also in existence an (albeit unrecognised) government and parliament which, for the latter part of the conflict at least, exercised control over the IRA and established effective legal authority over much of Ireland. The NI Troubles were not a war in the legal sense, regardless of the legal status of the war of independence.

    Looking at the sectarian representatives leading both sides one can only come to the conclusion that a BoR is necessary.

    How can one come to such a conclusion merely by “looking at the sectarian representatives leading both sides”?

  • willowfield

    RepublicanStones ran away.

  • RepublicanStones

    RepublicanStones didn’t run away, i have a job which occasionally necessitates me being far from luxuries such as internet, television, electricity. which was the case this week.
    and first off willow, as im not only a busy man, but also a father, please refrain from attempting to patronise me by your childish criticism of my hurried posts.
    you keep mentioning legal defintion of war, yet war is itself a term that has no exact legal defintion, hence the conventions use of the term ‘armed conflict’. it is you who has failed utterly to define how the conflict in the north wasn’t a war or an ‘armed conflict’. you just keep saying it wasn’t legally a war, without providing evidence, and the geneva conventions are not evidence dear boy, as they have to do with actions in warfare not about the legality of declaring one. you have yet to demonstrate otherwise. and for you to say there was no armed conflict is revisionism, it seems your fond of even revising the validity of your own statements.
    also i suggest you get out more, it seems your on your comp a little too much. ireland has beautiful scenery !