Options for Assembly reform examined

07 February 2018

The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee hears from leading academics on political science and human rights law on the constitutional framework for direct rule and devolution, and looks at options for reforming the devolved institutions to ensure sustainable government.


Wednesday 7 February in Grimond Room, Portcullis House

At 9.30am

  • Christopher McCrudden, Professor of Human Rights and Equality Law, Queen's University Belfast
  • Jonathan Tonge, Professor of Politics, University of Liverpool
  • Richard Wilford, Professor of Politics, Queen's University Belfast


The Northern Ireland Assembly has not sat for over a year and senior civil servants and representatives have warned of increasing difficulties in running vital services and developing infrastructure projects without Ministerial decisions over policy and budgets. Direct rule has not been implemented, however former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire did pass emergency budget legislation in November.

Purpose of the session 

The last extended period of direct rule was between 2002 and 2007. The session will examine how appropriate this form of government would be for Northern Ireland and how effective scrutiny could be assured. The Committee will also consider how successful the mandatory coalition system has been in providing sustainable and effective Government for Northern Ireland, and look at alternative models for the Assembly and Executive.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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