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Northern Ireland: Human Rights Forum

Volume 689: debated on Monday 5 February 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Who appointed the human rights forum which met in Northern Ireland on 18 December 2006; how it was funded; who selected the members; and for what purpose. [HL1222]

The Minister of State for Northern Ireland has agreed all the matters raised.

In the light of the general consensus that emerged following public consultation, the Government concluded that the Bill of Rights Forum should comprise an independent chair, 14 political representatives and 14 representatives of civic society. Political parties and representative groups from civic society were invited to nominate individuals to sit on the forum. Arrangements are being taken forward to select the independent chair.

The forum has to date incurred a small amount of expenditure for which the Northern Ireland Office has made provision.

The purpose of the forum is to produce agreed recommendations to inform the work that the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission is undertaking to fulfil its statutory duty to provide advice to Government on a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland.