***You can still get in touch with the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.***

While our office is closed due to COVID-19 (coronavirus), the NI Human Rights Commission is still working as normal.

You can still contact us with any queries you may have about human rights issues.

Phone: 028 9024 3987

Email: info@nihrc.org

Commission comments on reinstatement of own motion powers

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Commission comments on reinstatement of own motion powers

The Commission welcomes the reinstatement of its own motion powers, as set out in Schedule 3 of the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020.

In June 2018, a judgment by the UK Supreme Court resulted in the Commission losing the ability to take a case of public interest in its own name, meaning that the Commission was limited to supporting a human rights case taken by an individual victim.

The Commission viewed the ability to take a case in its own name, without the need to rely on a victim, as an important part of its function to bring proceedings involving laws or practice relating to the protection of human rights. These powers also provided a safeguard for any known or potential victims that their issue would be challenged in the public interest, without the need to put them through immeasurable personal stress as a result of the legal process.

The Commission was politically supported in its views and, consequently, the required amendment to sections 71(2B) and 71(2C) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 was included within Schedule 3 of the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020.


Further information:

For further information please contact Claire Martin on: (028) 9024 3987 or by email on claire.martin@nihrc.org

Notes to Editors

1. The NI Human Rights Commission is a statutory public body established in 1999 to promote and protect human rights. In accordance with the Paris Principles the Commission reviews the adequacy and effectiveness of measures undertaken by the UK Government to promote and protect human rights, specifically within Northern Ireland.

06 Apr 2020

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