Northern Ireland

The Titanic Struggle over the Illegal Migration Act

In 1912, the shipyard of Harland and Wolff in East Belfast produced a ship that was state of the art, a marvel of engineering, “designed to be unsinkable”. As it traversed the iceberg-laden waters of the North Atlantic on its maiden voyage at high … [Read more...] about The Titanic Struggle over the Illegal Migration Act

The Sunlit Uplands of Rights Protection in Northern Ireland

The High Court in Northern Ireland was recently asked in Dillon and Ors v Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to consider whether the Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Act 2023 (Legacy Act) was compatible with human rights … [Read more...] about The Sunlit Uplands of Rights Protection in Northern Ireland

Rigorous impartiality: What has been breached in the quest for a DUP deal and why the British will regret it

The principle of rigorous impartiality For over twenty-five years, the government of the United Kingdom has been under an extraordinary obligation. The last two governments have failed to uphold it. As a consequence, the present condition of the … [Read more...] about Rigorous impartiality: What has been breached in the quest for a DUP deal and why the British will regret it

Reporting the divide? The media and the constitutional debate in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland’s political dynamics have always been some of the most turbulent inthe United Kingdom. Much of the division and disruption comes from the divide thatexists on the constitutional future of Northern Ireland. Should it continue as part … [Read more...] about Reporting the divide? The media and the constitutional debate in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland and its (other) constitutional issues

Traditionally in Northern Ireland (or NI) mention of constitutional change has meant only one thing: United Kingdom (UK) vs United Ireland (UI). Known simply as ‘the constitutional question’, the issue to which this juxtaposition points – … [Read more...] about Northern Ireland and its (other) constitutional issues

In Review: Two Constitution Society Events in Edinburgh

Last week the Constitution Society went on the road to Edinburgh to host two events connected with what is increasingly termed the “territorial constitution”. Some months in the planning, the Society is indebted to our partners who helped make both … [Read more...] about In Review: Two Constitution Society Events in Edinburgh

More Bonaparte than Bagehot 

Review of Richard Johnson and Yuan Yi Zhu, Sceptical Perspectives on the Changing Constitution of the United Kingdom (Bloomsbury, 2023) It is by now a truism that the Brexit referendum of 2016 brought constitutional issues to the fore of … [Read more...] about More Bonaparte than Bagehot 

1998 Agreement the North-South Dimension at 25

The North-South aspects of the 1998 Agreement contain some of its most constitutionally innovative provisions. Although not often acknowledged as such in the UK context, Strand Two institutions and related provisions introduced a quasi-confederal … [Read more...] about 1998 Agreement the North-South Dimension at 25

25 years on is Westminster backtracking on human rights in Northern Ireland?

When the Good Friday Agreement was signed on 10 April 1998 it brought with it a profound sense of hope for people in both the Republic and Northern Ireland. While there wasn’t a sense that the conflict was at an end, there was at last a clear pathway … [Read more...] about 25 years on is Westminster backtracking on human rights in Northern Ireland?

Devolution and the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement: a stuttering failure?

This week marks the 25th anniversary of the momentous Belfast/Good Friday Agreement (GFA) that – among other things – helped to bring to a close the violence of “The Troubles” and established a series of new, interlocking institutions to govern … [Read more...] about Devolution and the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement: a stuttering failure?