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Northern Ireland Act 1998 - Section 75 and Schedule 9.
Section 75 and Schedule 9 to the Northern Ireland Act 1998, came into force on 1 January 2000. Responsibility for these provisions lies with the Secretary of State. The provisions place a statutory obligation on public authorities (Northern Ireland departments, most non-departmental public bodies, District Councils and other bodies including UK departments designated by the Secretary of State) to carry out their functions relating to Northern Ireland with due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity.
Human Rights Act 1998
In legal terms, the Human Rights Act incorporates the rights and freedoms of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into UK law, confirms the abolition of the death penalty and enables individuals to bring cases to court in Northern Ireland, who will enforce these rights if necessary. It empowers UK courts to award damages and provide other remedies to those whose rights have been violated.
It also embraces limitations on rights which the ECHR included to cover unusual circumstances such as war or a public emergency, known legally as 'derogating' from the overall standard of protection, this applied in Northern Ireland where the exceptional level of violence led to limits on legal rights, such as allowing police to detain a terrorist suspect for up five days without charge instead of the usual 48 hours.
Article 1 is introductory
Everyone's right to life shall be protected by law.
No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude or be required to perform forced or compulsory labour.
Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person.
Everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law.
No one shall be held guilty of any criminal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a criminal offence under national or international law at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was appicable at the time the criminal offence was committed.,
Everyone has the right to respect for their private and family life, home and correspondence.
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
Everyone has the right to freedom of expression.
Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and join trade unions for the protection of their interests.
Men and women of marriageable age have the right to marry and found a family.
The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this convention shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language religion, political, or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status.
Restrictions on poltical activity of aliens.
Probition of abuse of rights.
Limitations on use of restrictions of rights.
Article 1 of Protocol 1
(a later addition to the convention)
Everybody is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his or her possessions.
Article 2 of Protocol 1
No person shall be denied the right to education.
Article 3 of Protocol 1
There shall be free elections at reasonable intervals by secret ballot, under conditions which ensure the free expression of the opinion of the people in the choice of legislature.
Article 1of Protocol 6
Abolition of the death penalty.
Article 2 of Protocol 6
Death penalty in time of war.
(Source: Human Rights Impact Leaflet. Norhtern Ireland Human Rights Commission and the Human Rights Act 1998 Chapter 42)
New work and family rights
On 19th July 2006, legislation setting out a framework of improved rights for working families was introduced. The Work and Families (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 paves the way for greater choice and more flexibility for parents and carers who work in Northern Ireland. The overall package of rights will include:
Public consultation on the detail of some of the improved rights, which will be set out in regulations, concluded on 30 June 2006. The Department has examined feedback to the two-part consultation and has published its response to that part of the consultation dealing with maternity and adoption leave regulations. It will publish separately a response in relation to flexible working, together with the findings of research into this area, later in the year.
The Department will also publish later this year a summary of responses received on the issue of additional paternity leave and pay. Regulations will be the subject of public consultation at a later date.
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