Good Friday Agreement Human Rights Act

This area of work has been an unforeseen complement to our priorities in 2016. Although we have seen the threat of repealing the Human Rights Act and replacing it with a British bill of rights of unknown content as a threat to both human rights in general and the Good Friday agreement in Belfast in particular, we did not foresee last year the existential threat of the campaign for Brexit and the vote leave. One of our key priorities was to deliver on the unfulfilled human rights promises and commitments set out in the agreement and to commit more and more to a true rights-based society. The campaign and the vote for Brexit, combined with the increased chances of repealing the Human Rights Act, have forced us to defend what we have: a partially completed, partly successful peace process facing the threat of constitutional insecurity, even chaos and heightened xenophobia. The vague wording of some so-called “constructive ambiguities”[8] helped ensure the adoption of the agreement and delayed debate on some of the most controversial issues. These include extra-military dismantling, police reform and the standardisation of Northern Ireland. The agreement was reached between the British and Irish governments as well as eight northern Ireland political parties or groups. Three were representative of unionism: the Ulster Unionist Party, which had led unionism in Ulster since the early 20th century, and two small parties linked to loyalist paramilitaries, the Progressive Unionist Party (linked to the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and the Ulster Democratic Party (the political wing of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA). Two of them have been widely described as nationalists: the Social Democratic and Labour Party and Sinn Féin, the Republican party affiliated with the Provisional Republican Army. [4] [5] Apart from these rival traditions, there were two other assemblies, the Inter-Community Alliance Party and the Northern Ireland Women`s Coalition.

There was also the Labour coalition. U.S. Senator George J.

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