Taxing issues for Irish Morality

Pat Brosnan has written an interesting article in the Irish Examiner today in which he looks at the financial implications of recognizing Gay Marriages .“IT’S remarkable that when there’s a threat that the State might have to spend money on something other than a minister’s extravagance – like somebody’s rights – there are colossal implications for the exchequer.” Of course these colossal ‘implications’ (estimate circa € 2 Billion ) are taken far more seriously than the far larger ‘implications’ of … Read more

Estate agent behind ‘racist adverts’ revealed…

A Belfast-based letting agency – which can be revealed first on Slugger as Homefinders on Botanic Avenue – advertised accommodation earlier this year in which ads suggest that some rental properties are vetted on the basis of race and ethnicity, according to the Irish News. Will Scholes and Suzanne McGonigle wrote that “adverts list conditions such as “no DHSS, no Chinese”, “not suitable for people from ethnic backgrounds” and “not suitable for Chinese or Black community”.” Belfast Gonzo

Ramadan Mubarak!

Bismillah hir Rahman nir Raheem. “Ramadan Mubarak !” means have a blessed and happy Ramadan and I would like to extend greetings to any Muslim visitors to Slugger. Ramadan is an important part of the Muslim faith, celebrating the month when God sent down the Qur’an to mankind. Ambrose Uprichard

Charter debate: why unionists don’t engage…

“It you build it they will come”. That was the suggestion from a speaker from the floor in Cork. Indeed the generally quiet nature of the dialogue on an all island Charter of Rights might suggest that this could be a legitimate approach. However you might demur. One unionist reader emailed this afternoon to explain why he’s not been drawn into the debate.From Fair Deal I have not responded or participated as I have a basic political objection to the … Read more

GAA in breach of equality measure?

DUP councillor Roy Gillespie claims that GAA rule 14a, “discriminates against British firms and all their equipment should be of Irish manufacture”. However, SDLP councillor Declan O’Loan believes it’s simply a tactic for stalling a £400 grant to Clooney Gaels club for new hurley’s. Not sure there’s a queue of British firms looking for the contract, but it will be interesting to see how the Equality Commission handles it. Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers … Read more

A Right to Dignity

Tying in with our ongoing debate on the Charter of Rights, two cases currently in the media evidence the absence in that debate of one right that some would describe as the most fundamental of all Human Rights – the right to die with dignity.While the parents of a 11-month old child, who “is fed through a tube because she cannot suck from a bottle and she needs a constant supply of oxygen”, await a court ruling on medical advice … Read more

Charter debate: Alliance submission

The Alliance Party was one of the three parties that responded to the Joint Committee. We’ve included some of the highlights here. Please note the European Convention on Human Rights Act 2003 passed into law in the Republic earlier this year. It has a particularly interesting tack on the issue of sovereignty.Submission from Dr Stephen Farry, Justice Spokesman, to the Joint Committee – August 2003 Alliance warmly endorses the concept of a Charter of Rights for the island of Ireland … Read more

Charter debate: four questions from Cork

The following is a condensed summary of some of the main points from Saturday’s seminar in Cork. It contains four questions that I thought might useful to address in the comments. It would be useful if you could structure your contributions around them.There’s degree of sensitivity around establishing a bilateral charter. Rachel Murray from the University of Bristol emphasised that the two commissions had an option to say no, and they shouldn’t shirk from recommending no further action. Any future … Read more

Better rights: higher production and unemployment?

Interesting piece from Madsen Pirie at the Adam Smith Institute, who argues that European social and economic rights legislation has led to higher levels of unemployment, more comprehensive use of robots and consequently higher levels of production. Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

Charter debate: lessons from Northern Ireland

Brice Dickson was a key speaker at the Seminar in Cork on Saturday. His presentation looked at three things: lessons to be learned from the Bill of Rights debate in Northern Ireland; what quality of relationship might exist between a future charter and a future Bill of Rights; and some concluding thoughts on the challenges it might throw up. He was speaking in a purely personal capacity, and no way reflects the official thinking of the Human Rights Commission. Note: … Read more

Whose rights are they anyway?

Chris Stalford picks up on a theme that has so far not raised its head in the E-debate on a Charter of Rights e-debate: the issue of overly prescriptive legislation. He’s fearful that under a full and rigourous rights culture some political attitudes are likely to be considered more right than others.By Christopher Stalford Question: when is a prisoner of conscience not a prisoner of conscience? Answer: when he or she makes a statement that offends the cosy liberal consensus. … Read more

Keeping rights and politics separate

Steven King argues (archive only) that the Human Rights Commission’s proposals for a new Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland are the result of a consensus between a particularly narrow range of interests. Note: This is a re-post from the lost archives of Slugger from last April. He concludes: “Never forget the old advice that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Human rights are crucially important. But the notion of human rights is devalued if … Read more

Charter debate: what rights?

Colin Harvey with the third of his pieces, asks the question what rights might a future charter contain. We’ve already had the suggestion from reader Alan that those of children and the disabled might be useful additions. Donaloc has anticipated the issue by pasting Sinn Fein’s extensive list of rights suggested in its discussion document.Ø Which rights should it contain? Before deciding on which rights it should contain there must be a clear idea of the context and what the … Read more

Charter debate: more questions than answers

The e-debate has been slow to start, but there’s been some interesting questions that have arisen out of the first few days of discussion. Here’s a short outline of some of the main points so far. Colin Harvey will have more questions tomorrow.The discussion so far has raised more questions than answers. The primary one being whether we really need an all island charter when, in theory at least, the European Convention on Human Rights already covers both parts of … Read more

Charter e-debate: an argument for a Charter

Brice Dickson wrote a think piece (pdf) for the Irish Law Society last autumn when an initial public consultation was still in train. Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

Charter debate: why have one at all?

We’ve had a few good starters to the e-debate, raising questions about the precise nature of any proposed instrument. There is some scepticism over the workablity/desirablity of an enforceable document. Over the next fortnight we’ll be examining four general questions, which will help frame the discussions to be initiated at the Seminar in UCC this Saturday. And, in turn, we’ll be bringing you informed perspectives that arise from the seminar next week.From Colin Harvey Ø What does the Agreement prescribe … Read more

Charter debate: balance rights with responsibilities

Indian Express journalist with a very Indian take on the whole question of Rights and Responsibilities, managing to bring Ghandi and the Bhagawad Gita (‘Your duty is your right’)in the first paragraph. Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

Charter debate: free play of ideas

Professor Colin Harvey sets out the ideas behind the Charter of Right e-debate and provides the background to the idea for a charter. And asks some basic questions that the e-debate will seek answers to.By Colin Harvey The Belfast Agreement contains a clear commitment to human rights. Human rights protection remains a fundamental pillar of the peace process. And all-Ireland human rights measures are, or should be, part of this process. The Agreement led to the creation of two human … Read more

An e-debate on a Charter of Rights?

Discussion about the restoration of democratic institutions in Northern Ireland continues to rage around issues of demilitarisation, policing, security and accountability – all part of the current review of the Belfast Agreement.But that Agreement also commits to looking at “the possibility of establishing a charter, open to signature by all democratic political parties, reflecting and endorsing agreed measures for the protection of the fundamental rights of everyone living in the island of Ireland”. Until now there has been little progress. … Read more