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Northern Ireland: Human Rights Commission

Volume 712: debated on Tuesday 30 June 2009

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Royall of Blaisdon on 15 June (WA 183–84) concerning the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, on what basis the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is satisfied that he has met the obligation in Section 68(3) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 that the commissioners should represent the community in Northern Ireland. [HL4366]

Under the Northern Ireland Act 1998 the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is obliged, when making appointments to the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, to secure, so far as practicable, that the commissioners as a group are representative of the community in Northern Ireland.

The composition of the existing commission is taken into account when appointments are made, so that this obligation can be met.

The Secretary of State has complied with this obligation in every appointment that has been made to the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Royall of Blaisdon on 16 June (WA 202) concerning the funding of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, whether they will place in the Library of the House the application made to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland by the commission for approval for external funding. [HL4393]

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Royall of Blaisdon on 16 June (WA 202), what form the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission's proposal to access external funding from Atlantic Philanthropies took; how much funding is involved; whether they took legal advice on the proposal; and whether they will publish their correspondence with the commission on the matter. [HL4447]

Approval was sought to access £110,000 of external funding provided by Atlantic Philanthropies for a set of projects relating to work on a Bill of Rights. Legal advice was taken in relation to this matter. Copies of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission's proposal requesting approval to access external funding and the letter detailing the Northern Ireland Office's response will be placed in the Library of the House.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, in any recent discussions between the Northern Ireland Office and the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, the commission was informed of the view expressed by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland before the House of Commons Northern Ireland Affairs Committee on 1 April that it had exceeded its remit. [HL4489]

I refer the noble Lord to my previous Answers of 19 May 2009 (Official Report, col. WA 298) and 8 June 2009 (Official Report, col. WA 132). The Secretary of State has shared his view with the commission.