The Assembly Podcast
Ministers, Elections and Petitions of Concern Act aka MEPOC
Season 1, Ep. 2
In this episode we talk again to Gareth McGrath about the new legislation which received Royal Assent in February 2022. The Northern Ireland Ministers, Elections and Petitions of Concern Act brings into law part of the New Decade, New Approach that relate to the Assembly and the Executive. Gareth talks us through how they will impact on the day to day workings of the Assembly.
7. Reflections on Belfast/Good Friday Agreement and Rights21:52This presentation considers key reasons for the current lack of consensus on how best to protect human rights in Northern Ireland. It draws on academic study of Northern Ireland’s experience over the last 25 years since the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, as well as lessons learned from other jurisdictions. Examining a way forward, it considers whether the lack of consensus arises from a failure of imagination and flexibility?; whether a programme of constructive engagement, with less suspicion and division, could better enable all and improve the lives of a lot of people living in Northern Ireland?; and, whether such a programme could help to fulfil human rights obligations enshrined in the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement?View Presentation SlidesView Briefing Paper
6. Reflections on Belfast/Good Friday Agreement and Rights21:32Professor Rory O’Connell (Ulster University), Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin (Queen’s University Belfast and University of Minnesota) and Dr Lina Malagón (University of Wales Trinity Saint David)In 2023, the 1998 Belfast/Good Friday Agreement marks its 25th anniversary. For many the Agreement projects a global image of a successfully concluded end to a conflict. However, key aspects of the Agreement remain under-enforced or simply undelivered, in particular, those provisions related to significant and wide-ranging guarantees addressing human rights and equality of opportunity. As a result, socio-economic and cultural deficits persist, undermining the capacity to achieve a “positive peace”. In this presentation, we consider what transformative potential the Agreement had, and to what extent it has been transformative? What has stymied transformation? Where are levers to support transformative change?The presentation draws on a paper forthcoming in the Israel Law Review. The research for that paper was supported by the Research Hub on Gender, Justice and Security led by London School of Economics, which is funded by the United Kingdom Research and Innovation Global Challenges Research Fund. Professor Rory O’Connell will present the paper on behalf of his colleagues.View Presentation SlidesView Briefing Paper
5. Reflections on Belfast/Good Friday Agreement & Power-sharing - Presentation 226:42Immerse yourself in a thought-provoking seminar series as we reflect on the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement's 25th anniversary. Our academic presenters will share insights from their areas of expertise and explore key themes, including power-sharing, the economy, reconciliation, rights, and gender. This episode comes from Dr Sean Haughey, University of Liverpool and Dr Jamie Pow, Queen’s University Belfast looking at their work on “A deliberative forum on possible reforms to power-sharing”.Twenty-five years after the signing of the 1998 Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, debate emerges about the future of the power-sharing institutions established under the Agreement. This presentation reports on the findings of a small-scale citizens' assembly – a deliberative forum – which brought together a broadly representative sample of people from across Northern Ireland, to ascertain citizens' views on: maintaining the current power-sharing system; replacing the present system with a government formation system based purely on negotiation between political parties; or, replacing the current system with a government formation system based on both negotiation and cross-community inclusion. The findings assist in better understanding public attitudes towards the status quo and potential alternative government formation models. Importantly, they shed light on the reasons behind these attitudes and the process by which any potential reform(s) could come about. Presentation SlidesAccompanying Paper
4. Reflections on Belfast/Good Friday Agreement & Power-sharing - Presentation 121:10Immerse yourself in a thought-provoking seminar series as we reflect on the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement's 25th anniversary. Our academic presenters will share insights from their areas of expertise and explore key themes, including power-sharing, the economy, reconciliation, rights, and gender. This episode comes from Professor JohnGarry of Queen's University Belfast. The presentation is called “What the Northern Ireland public thinks about power-sharing under current devolution arrangements”A quarter of a century after the 1998 Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, debates over power-sharing arrangements in Northern Ireland continue. This presentation briefly describes the current power-sharing arrangements; and then addresses public attitudes to those arrangements, highlighting key findings arising from survey data collected directly after the May 2022 Assembly Election. It examines: Was the public strongly in favour of existing power-sharing arrangements; or, was there support for reforming the arrangements? Also, how did views vary by community background; and, what were the views of those who did not fit neatly into a “unionist” or a “nationalist” category, such as those who identified as “Northern Irish”?Professor John Garry's presentation slides and accompanying briefing paper:SlidesPaper
3. Ceremony to Mark the 25th Anniversary of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement01:38:14on 7 April 2023 the Speaker Alex Maskey hosted a special event to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement. The event saw former politicians sharing their recollections of the negotiations and memories of Good Friday April 1998, including former Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, Gerry Adams, Billy Hutchinson, Professor Monica McWilliams, Lord Empey and Mark Durkan. The audience also heard contributions via video delivered by the talks Chair, Senator George Mitchell, former Alliance Party Leader Lord Alderdice and Lord Murphy.The celebration also included music performances by children from the Belfast School of Performing Arts and Northern Ireland-based singer-songwriter Dana Masters.You can watch the ceremony here - https://youtu.be/14fYiky6qSQ
1. Dissolution and the Election14:30In this episode we take a look at what happens at the Northern Ireland Assembly before, during and after an Assembly Election. During the podcast we talk about a system of voting called d'Hondt that is used to appoint Government Ministers. You can find out more about d'Hondt on our blog by following this link - What is d'Hondt and how do we use it at the Assembly?