Governance/ Assembly Review

Petitions of Concern

Dr Alex Schwartz (QUB) Northern Ireland’s system of government includes several mechanisms designed to facilitate inclusive cross-community power-sharing. One such mechanism is the “Petition of Concern”; any decision of the Assembly may be subjected to the requirement of cross-community consent where a Petition of Concern is signed by at least 30 MLAs. The Assembly and Executive Review Committee has recently considered changing or eliminating the Petition of Concern in light of criticisms that it is unfair, increasingly prone to abuse, and impedes legislative productivity. This presentation will assess the strengths of these criticisms in comparative perspective, with reference to the

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Women in Politics

Professor Yvonne Galligan (QUB) Making democracy ‘fit for purpose’ is a continuing theme in 21st century politics. An aspect that has loomed large in this debate is the under-representation of women in political life. As legislatures across these islands and beyond have become more gender equal in representation, the record of women’s representation in the Northern Ireland Assembly becomes an anomaly. There is now a significant body of international practice and experience on which to draw, suggesting that the poor representation of women in the politics of Northern Ireland can be successfully addressed. This presentation will draw on recent international

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