While it is acknowledged that
devolution may “raise certain difficulties
for the legalformulation of any ... Bil
l of Rights”, Stephen Livingstone contends that “
these[difficulties] are not
To complicate the matter even further, the parliamentary Joint Committee onHuman Rights published a report in August 2008,
A Bill of Rights for the UK?
inwhich it recommended that Britain
adopt a Bill of Rights and Freedoms since this
would provide „a moment when society can define itself.‟
In November 2009, theConservative Party announced that it would
scrap plans for the [NI] Bill, replacing itwith a UK-wide Bill of Rights and Responsibilities.
This has found great favour
with the DUP who “
consider a UK Bill with a Northern Ireland chapter to be infinitelymore appropriate than the Northern Ireland Bill envisaged by rights champions.
The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), branding the bill
has been equally
receptive of the Conservative plans to “
ditch the Bill of Rights if they come to power in the next election.
Bills of rights are more than simply a “list of basic rights that everyone in the stateis entitled to enjoy.”
Francesca Klug describes them as “rather strangecreatures”.
Their significance is not limited to the legal or the constitutional; “part
Livingstone, S “The Need for a Bill of Rights in Northern Ireland”  52 Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly
269-285 at 277
HL 165, HC 150, 2007-8
Bogdanor, V “Human Rights and the New British Constitution” JUSTICE Tom Sargant Memorial Annual
Lecture 2009, Given at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, London on Wednesday 14 October 2009
UUP “Bill of Rights Should Be Rejected” November 3 20
09 available athttp://www.uup.org/news/general/general-news-archive/bill-of-rights-should-be-rejected.php
DUP “DUP on Northern Ireland Bill of Rights” PDF March 30 2010 available at
UUP “Bill of Rights Should Be Rejected” November 3 2009 available at
BORNI “What is a Bill of Rights?” available at
lug, F “A Bill of Rights: Do We Need One or Do We Already Have One?”  Public Law 701
-719 at 705