“the Commission… continues to consider that the advice it delivered constitutes a strong basis on which to proceed…”

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, reconstituted in July last year, has released a new weapon in the long-running battle over a Bill of Rights for NI – “Is that Right?” [pdf file].  Chief Commissioner Professor Michael O’Flaherty claims that the document “addresses the misunderstandings and misinformation concerning what a bill of rights would mean if one were to be introduced.” 

Is it a genuine attempt at engaging with those who are sceptical?

Well, it’s not funded by Atlantic Philanthropies, which is a start…  But the associated press release notes

The NIHRC delivered its advice on a Bill of Rights to the UK Government in 2008. Since then very little progress has been made. This is matter of regret for the Commission, which continues to consider that the advice it delivered constitutes a strong basis on which to proceed.

That would be the ‘advice’ noted here – one of the previous Commission’s self-declared “greatest achievements”

It’s as if they haven’t been listeningat all…

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  • Framer

    Nothing has changed.
    Chief Commissioner O’Flaherty writes that “the onus is now on the Government to take the necessary steps to ensure that a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland will be adopted. To avoid that responsibility is to renege on one of the most important provisions of the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement.”
    They still believe the wording of laws is what they want them to be, not what they say.
    The government can’t renege on a provision that was not there in the first place.
    That’s right.

  • Neil

    Some pretty damning stuff in those links. The ‘Is That Right?’ leaflet seems to be an attempt to bring their bill back from the dead. Given what the NIO had to say about it even Jesus couldn’t revive that bad boy.

  • wild turkey

    “Today, the outcomes of this long debate and practical experience presents a useful resource for the current process in Northern Ireland.”

    Do I have a right to find the above statement, and the overall Is That Right document, to be tedious and self-serving?

    Liddel Hart wrote ‘two wrongs make a reich’ fair enough. But how many discussions,debates,consultations, PR campaigns, convocations of the great and good make an unpalatable stew?

  • Peter Parker

    It was perfectly obvious to anyone who knew her that Monica McWilliams’ appointment as Chief Commissioner spelt the end of any realistic prospect of a Bill of Rights. In her six-year tenure the Commission added nothing of value to the draft left for them by the Dickson Commission, and achieved virtually nothing else, any small advances being attributable entirely to the hard-working (and of late terribly reduced) body of staff. Talk to any ex-Commissioner (I have spoken to four so far) and they will confirm that, among themselves, they referred to Commission meetings as “Monicalogues” – she so dominated debates and other public appearances that no other Commissioner had any meaningful role.

  • Professor Yattle

    Surely of more interest at this point is that the new chief commissioner has apparently bought into the Bill of Rights ‘Monicalogue’ wholesale.
    Very disappointing. The tone of the latest document is as arrogant as anything herself might have written, while somehow managing to be even dumber.

  • wild turkey

    “It was perfectly obvious to anyone who knew her that Monica McWilliams’ appointment as Chief Commissioner spelt the end of any realistic prospect of a Bill of Rights.”

    ” the new chief commissioner has apparently bought into the Bill of Rights ‘Monicalogue’ wholesale.
    Very disappointing. The tone of the latest document is as arrogant as anything herself might have written”

    Mr Parker and Professor Y.

    you guys just don’t get it, do you?

    occassionally, in fact, rarely, we are blessed. we are blessed with a humble soul who in all humility, lack of ego and with the support of the common simple taxpayer and overseas philanthropist arises in our midst to free us. to liberate us. regardless of the personal cost to reputation or incidental expenses.

    you talk in a derisory manner fashion of someone who has experienced the legacy of oppression, discrimination and lack of respect. you chose to ignore that women have been oppressed since, well, at least since the bible was written. and probably before as the bible codified the rules of the existing male hierarchy and violent patriarchal structures.

    you chose to ignore that the great irishry has been oppressed for at least eight hundred years and arguably longer given the inhuman climatic conditions, since the last ice age 17 thousand years ago.

    you chose to ignore that occassionally some of those cannosised as saints, were viewed during their lifetime, by cold hearted ‘rational’ males, as self-absorbed and self-promoting.

    in a similar vein, you chose to ignore what Christopher Hitchens has said, and written, about Mother Teresa.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/fighting_words/2003/10/mommie_dearest.html

    but ya somethin guys? that’s your right.

    mahalo

  • wild turkey

    oops!
    edit above

    last line should read

    but ya know something guys. that’s your right

  • wild turkey

    oh yeah,

    are there any post-grad or doc students or indeed member of the general public who have done research on:-

    “The Women’s Coalition: Post 1998 career trajectories of the leadership, candidates and associated functionairies”

  • This is the second blog around the same subject. Here is my comment there.

    A bill of rights for the whole UK should adequately cover anything arising in any part of the UK. If it isn’t, to quote someone else on being VPOTUSA, it wouldn’t be worth a spitoon of cold spit. Otherwise, where do you end? A BOR for Fermanagh and South Tyrone?