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26 March 2021

Round table on Independent Human Rights Act Review

Law Society House was the venue for a hybrid Round Table event jointly hosted by the Law Society of Northern Ireland and the Bar Council of Northern Ireland on the Independent Human Rights Act Review. The event was chaired by Sir Peter Gross, Review Panel Chair, and attended by three other members of the Review Panel to include Baroness Nuala O'Loan - a former solicitor and the first Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland.

Participants included solicitors and barristers from private practice and academia and representatives from a number of local bodies and organisations with a particular interest in human rights.

Law Society President, Rowan White, said:

‘Discussion at the Round Table has allowed for the further development of a number of the issues which were covered in the Society’s written response to the Panel’s Call for Evidence. In particular we welcomed the opportunity to focus on the pivotal role which the Human Rights Act has in the current constitutional arrangements in Northern Ireland.’

Maria McCloskey, Chair of the Society’s Human Rights & Equality Group said:

‘The Act is still very much in its infancy. Over the last twenty years, our understanding of it has been developing and, amongst human rights practitioners the overwhelming position is that it has been working extremely effectively. Accordingly this Review and its timing is of great concern.’

The Review Panel has advised that it expects to present its Report to Government in July 2021.


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