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Source: Social Democratic and Labour Party of Northern Ireland

SDLP MLA for Foyle and Member of the Ad-Hoc Committee on the Bill of Rights, Mark H Durkan, has encouraged the general public to respond to the consultation on whether a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland should be created and emphasised that people should not hesitate out of fear that the Committee is only interested in legal expertise.

Speaking after the launch, Mr Durkan said:

“The SDLP has long advocated for and strongly supports a robust Bill of Rights. It was a clear commitment made in the Good Friday Agreement. Yet, twenty-two years on from the overwhelming endorsement the people of Ireland – North and South – gave to the Agreement, we are still without a Bill of Rights.” 

“A Bill of Rights – or the lack of one – affects everyone across Northern Ireland so I would encourage any individuals and groups with an interest in all or any aspect of establishing a Bill of Rights to respond to this consultation. It is enormously helpful to the Committee to draw on the wealth of views to help to make real progress towards a Bill of Rights. A response can be in the form of a written submission or an anonymous response to the survey asking what types of rights people would like to see enshrined in a Bill of Rights and we are keen to get a sense of levels of public support for different options.” 

‘The committee has received important evidence at live hearings from academics and politicians and while we hope to hear from groups that work in human rights, you don’t need a law or politics degree to have an opinion on equality and human rights. It is vital that we understand how people think this would or should impact their everyday lives so I hope to see responses from the general public.’

MIL OSI United Kingdom