NI: Sunday marks 18 years since Good Friday Agreement
Sunday marked 18 years since the Good Friday Agreement was signed, forming the basis for the Northern Ireland peace process in the 1990s and the eventual establishment of the Northern Ireland Assembly.
The anniversary has been celebrated by human rights organisations, who also used the date to issue a warning about threats to the Human Rights Act.
Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland programme director at Amnesty International, told Irish Legal News: “The authors of the Good Friday Agreement made sure that the words ‘human rights’ ran through it like stick of seaside rock.
“At its heart was the promise that the injustices of Northern Ireland’s past would be banished forever and that the European Convention on Human Rights would become part of domestic law and made a cornerstone of decision-making by all public authorities, including the police.
“The promise was delivered by the Human Rights Act of the same year and major changes in Northern Ireland policing that followed.
“Eighteen years on and that keystone of peace is under threat from the UK government, which has vowed to repeal the Act and replace with a British Bill of Rights.
“If the Good Friday Agreement is to make it to its nineteenth anniversary with promised human rights protections still in place, the UK government must commit to saving the Human Rights Act and the Irish government and Northern Ireland political parties must resist any attempt at its repeal.”