The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission is launching its Annual Statement on International Human Rights Day (10th December). The Commission is delighted to welcome the former Attorney General for England & Wales, the Right Honourable Dominic Grieve QC as the key note speaker at the event. He will be speaking on the reform of the European Convention of Human Rights and the European Court.
Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP said:
‘Maintaining and developing a human rights framework should be a priority for the United Kingdom government. It also requires the European Court of Human Rights to ensure that it gives national courts space to adapt its jurisprudence to their own circumstances whilst respecting the Conventions principles’.
NIHRC Chief Commissioner, Les Allamby, said:
“We are honoured to have the Rt Hon Dominic Grieve launch our Annual Statement event today. The Bill of Rights proposed by the Conservative Party has particular ramifications for Northern Ireland alongside wider international consequences. Dominic Grieve is in a position to speak authoritatively on matters given his role and experience in political life.”
For further information please contact Claire Martin on Claire.Martin@nihrc.org or 0771 7731873 (mobile).
Notes to editors
1. This year in the Annual Statement the Commission has introduced a traffic lights system with the aim of making the document more accessible to readers.
• Red identifies a subject that requires immediate action by the UK Government, NI Executive or relevant public authorities and the issue may be an ongoing violation or abuse of human rights within NI.
• Amber identifies a subject that requires action by the UK Government, NI Executive or relevant public authorities. The issue may not be at a level that constitutes an ongoing violation or abuse of human rights. Initial steps toward providing an effective response could have already been taken or the necessity of taking action acknowledged by the relevant body. Such actions may have commenced but are not yet completed.
• Green identifies a subject that has been acknowledged as requiring action to protect human rights in NI and an effective response has been provided by the UK Government, NI Executive or relevant public authorities. A firm commitment to address the matter will have been demonstrated and undertaken.
2. List of outcomes categorised by traffic light system in NIHRC 2014 Annual Statement:
• Conflict related deaths: transitional justice and individual cases
• Deprivation of citizenship
• Age of criminal responsibility
• Termination of pregnancy
• Consolidating, strengthening and clarifying equality protections
• Racial equality strategy
• Racist hate crimes
• Religious tolerance
• Disabled persons
• Extension of civil marriage to same sex couples
• Eligibility to make blood donations
• Rule of law: non-state actors
• Deaths in custody
• Alternatives to imprisonment
• Imprisonment for fine default
• Women in prison
• Imprisonment of children with adults
• The remand of children
• Prison review and conditions
• Health and social care
• Historical abuse of children and adults
• Violence against women and girls
• Domestic violence protection orders
• Allegations of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment overseas
• Mechanisms for the identification of victims of torture for those detained in immigration facilities
• Strip Searches
• Child prostitution and sexual exploitation
• National crime agency
• Human Trafficking
• Avoidable delay
• A victim charter
• Closed Material Proceedings
• Access to justice
• Stop and search
• Parades and protests
• Participation of women
• Childcare for women in employment
• Parental rights
• Armed forces covenant
• Social security
• Social housing
• Tackling Poverty
• Care homes
• Mental Capacity
• Children in custody
• Integrated and shared education
• Educational needs of Traveller children
• Special educational needs
• The Irish language and Ulster Scots
• Bill of rights for NI
• Criminal records
3. The launch of the Annual Statement 2014 will be hosted at the Long Gallery Stormont from 12-2pm by the Deputy Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Mr John Dallat MLA. Press are welcome to attend the event.
4. Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP was the Attorney General for England and Wales and the Advocate General for Northern Ireland, until July 2014. He is the Conservative MP for Beaconsfield and previously held a number of positions in the shadow cabinet including Shadow Home Secretary and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice. He was called to the bar in 1980 and practiced as a barrister before entering Parliament. He was educated at Westminster School and Magdalen College Oxford.
5. The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission is an independent statutory body first proposed in the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement (1998) and established in 1999 by the Northern Ireland Act (1998). It is answerable to Parliament at Westminster.
10 Dec 2014