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Briefing from the Community Relations Council to the Panel of Parties established under the strategy Together: Building

a United Community

September 2013

Contents

1. Introduction 2. Role of the Community Relations Council 3. Policy Background 4. Conclusion 5. Summary of CRC papers on flags, parades and dealing with the past Annexes Annex 1 Flags and related matters Annex 2 Parades and protests Annex 3 Dealing with the past Annex 4 Examples of CRC’s work and achievements over recent years

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1. Introduction The Community Relations Council (CRC) wishes the Panel of Parties, under the Chairmanship of Dr. Richard Haass, every success in its endeavours to constructively resolve the outstanding contested issues which still pervade our society. CRC offers its full support based on three decades experience of addressing community relations issues. CRC believes that it is essential to view the immediate issues around flags, parades and dealing with the past in the overall context of the deep, complex and multi layered divisions in this community. Hopefully your work can help us to handle the flags issue better, manage the parades and protests problems more effectively, and move us towards a widely acceptable approach to dealing with past events. CRC has outlined its many years of work within its submission (annex 4) and also wishes to acknowledge that throughout the years of violence, some of the most important community relations work was, and continues to be, kept alive through the work of the voluntary and community sector. Academics, funding bodies, Trade Unions, Churches and others have also played an important policy, research and support role contributing to a regional approach to peace building. However, progress in these areas, very welcome though it would be, will not in itself remove the deep underlying divisions. All our experience suggests that fresh divisive issues will emerge or old ones will resurface. We believe passionately that a very strong focus must be maintained on all aspects of the long term process of healing community divisions, tackling inequalities, addressing honestly the issues that continue to divide us and building on those areas that can unite a divided society. The reduction in violence and especially the creation of devolved institutions are very significant advances. But it has to be recognised more frankly that the political structures tend to reinforce division by obliging the political parties to maintain and defend their position within their part of the community, rather than seek support from other parts of the community. The low voting turnout and opinion poll evidence about public attitudes to the Assembly are alarming trends. 2. Role of the Community Relations Council CRC was formed in January 1990 with the purpose of supporting and promoting community relations work at all levels within the community, a role which it continues to carry out. It #" "

originated from a proposal of a research report commissioned by the NI Standing Advisory Committee on Human Rights titled ‘Improving Community Relations’ (Frazer & McDuff, 1986). CRC is the regional body for community relations in Northern Ireland, established as an independent charity and acting as an arm’s length body through sponsorship by the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM). The board is appointed through a supervised public appointments process and the Memorandum and Articles provides for up to one third of the Board to be appointed by the Government. Since its establishment in 1990 CRC has supported practical initiatives underpinning progress towards a society whose principles are fairness and justice, the peaceful celebration of variety and difference, and the importance of sharing, trust and inclusion. By supporting partnerships, co-operation, dialogue, meeting and friendship, and by promoting better practice and policy, CRC is the leading independent voice championing change to achieve and maintain a shared and open society based on fairness, the celebration of diversity and variety, and genuine reconciliation and interdependence. As the regional body for community relations CRC has an obligation to challenge across the system to promote a shared and better future throughout government and society. The consultation responses to A Shared Future clearly indicated that there was widespread support for such a regional body, independent of government and capable of commanding support to promote good relations throughout government and society, support organisations through funding, training and development of good practice and to provide a challenge function across the public sector and wider civic society through research, best practice and policy development. Since its inception CRC has developed significantly in its approach to this work, and in it support and implementation of actions and programmes that seek to proactively acknowledge and deal with the legacy of our conflict and the continued impacts of division so as to ensure a better quality of life for all in our society. CRC’s vision is of a peaceful, inclusive, prosperous, stable and fair society founded on the achievement of reconciliation, equality, co-operation, respect, mutual trust and good relations, of an open society free from intimidation and threat, where peace and tolerance are considered normal. To support the securing and attainment of this vision CRC’s responsibilities as a regional body are

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Advocating and challenging progress towards a better, shared and prosperous intercommunity partnership and inter-cultural co-operation

Increasing awareness of community relations work and encouraging the flow of ideas and practice on North-South, East-West, European and international levels through commissioning and undertaking research

Developing, supporting and disseminating best practice examples of peace-building and facilitating constructive debate on difficult, sensitive and controversial topics, whilst acknowledging and promoting good relations actions

Providing support for local groups and organisations (finance, training, advice and information) to develop opportunities for cross-community understanding

Providing practical opportunities for inter-community and inter-cultural partnership understanding and interventions

Assisting central and local Government in the development, implementation, and delivery of policies, programmes and actions by connecting community relations issues through learning from research and programmes at regional, sub-regional and local level

3. Policy Background The board of CRC welcomed the publication of the OFMDFM policy document, Together: Building a United Community (T:BUC), which was launched on 23 May 2013 and will work strenuously to assist in the development and implementation of many of its proposals. The agenda to be tackled by the T:BUC policy is complex. The initiatives referred to in the policy document include housing, education, projects aimed at young people, flags, parades and protests, marking anniversaries and how to deal with the past. CRC believes that, provided there is sufficient commitment along with adequate resources, the initiatives outlined in the policy can build on the excellent work that already goes on in many communities, supported by CRC and other organisations such as the District Councils. CRC believes that the very visible and long standing difficulty in dealing with these issues on a cross-party basis in the Assembly has contributed to the sense of ambiguity which affects community relations work at all levels. CRC believes that consensus on the way forward at Executive level is vital; otherwise it will appear that the community is expected to achieve a level of unity which is beyond political leadership. %" "

CRC is uncertain whether the proposals, as they stand, will be capable of addressing the complex mix of issues that link community relations to poverty and long-term social disadvantage. The issues of education, regeneration and community safety are inextricably linked to the more fluid issues of identity, cultural expression and community division. CRC believes that the initiatives announced in Together: Building a United Community have the potential to make an important contribution. In particular, CRC welcomes the focus on young people. The reference in the document to other separate policies on victims and survivors, children and young people, older people, race equality etc is welcome. The links between these other policies and Together: Building a United Community need to be scoped, clearly understood and monitored. CRC also notes the intention of the policy to create a new independent and statutorily based body called the Equality and Good Relations Commission. The role of the body will be to provide advice to government and it is proposed that it will bring together the work of the Equality Commission with some of the work currently undertaken by CRC. One of the important features of CRC is its independence with which comes the responsibility, and need for courage to speak the truth to power. CRC continues to believe that there is a need for independence of thought to challenge public policy and programmes, but also to challenge society as a whole to play its part in building and sustaining peace. CRC remains to be persuaded that the current Executive proposals will do that. CRC further notes that the term Good Relations is not defined in the document. This will need to be addressed since ‘good relations’ is the goal of the policy and the rationale for initiatives and methods that will be deployed. A shared understanding of what success should look like will be essential. CRC awaits the details of these proposals and believes that the changes must be tested to ensure that, at minimum, there will be no dilution of the focus on equality or good relations as the new arrangements are put in place or thereafter. Finally CRC was disappointed that the document made scant reference to the work of the Council and the bodies it has supported over the last 23 years. It is important that the new policy builds on the experience that is already available. 4. Conclusion The Panel of Parties is taking place at an important time in our peace process. Much of what we have achieved during the years since the peace agreement was signed has been

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based on pragmatic negotiations on a case by case basis. There are two general points that we wish to make before dealing with the specific areas of concern to this submission. Agreement on overarching principles – CRC believes that our society is reaching the limits of what can be achieved by pragmatic negotiation on a case by case basis. To move beyond the management of our difference to the acknowledgement of our diversity, CRC believes it is time to enshrine principles that form the basis of our collective rights and responsibilities to each other in relation to the remaining matters. Such a document could form the foundation for the approach we take to many of the issues which the Panel of Parties will be considering. If these principles were to be agreed across the three strands of our peace settlement, it might provide security for all identities without prejudice to the wider constitutional question. Structures for sustaining peace – It can be as difficult to live within a peace settlement as it is to negotiate it in the first place. CRC believes that our society has underestimated the implications of this important point and that the negotiating structures for sustaining peace should be revisited. Tensions and divisions will remain within Northern Ireland for the foreseeable future and sporadically lead to violence and disturbances in the street. Acknowledging this is not to be fatalistic, indifferent or undemanding of our peace process. It is simply the reality of the difficulties of transforming a deeply divided society. Therefore we suggest that the Panel of Parties should consider whether the ad-hoc approach taken to these inevitable issues is, in itself, creating instability and an erosion of trust. 5. Summary of CRC papers on flags, parades and dealing with the past This submission provides considerations and comment on issues which the Panel of Parties has been asked to consider:Annex 1 Annex 2 Annex 3 Flags and related matters Parades and protests Dealing with the past

Flags and related matters Flags are an emotive issue and we know that there are many factors that play a part in our response to flags as individuals and communities. Context and shifting meanings or interpretations over time make this a complex issue. Whether we choose to respond by calling for a blanket ban on the flying of flags, a regulated approach that qualifies our

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freedom to fly flags, or negotiated settlements at the local level, it is increasingly clear that doing nothing will be neither an effective nor a sustainable solution. On the 3rd December 2012 when Belfast City Council voted to fly the union flag on designated days few can have expected the level of unrest that followed. Responding to the flag dispute the Northern Ireland Assembly affirmed the “absolute and unconditional commitment of all its members to respecting and upholding the rule of law and the pursuit of their political objectives by purely legal and political means”. This was an important unifying statement but it was not sufficient to secure enduring peace and stability in relation to cultural expression. The need for an all party Assembly agreement on the approach to flags was recognised when OFMDFM produced its policy document Together: Building a United Community. In relation to cultural expression, the policy document stated a commitment to “...developing an open and tolerant society in which everyone is free to mark and celebrate their identity, or indeed identities, in a peaceful and respectful manner.” It recognised that “addressing the challenges will require a new emphasis on both tolerance and respect and an active willingness on behalf of all those involved in celebrating their tradition to acknowledge that we live in a society that is diverse in its make-up. Respect and tolerance are important principles in any democratic society. These principles apply to both those involved in celebrating their traditions and those who are not active participants. It is vital that cultural expression is peaceful”. The policy also recognised that “The fabric of our society is made up of many diverse parts – representing different cultural backgrounds and identities. Within the context of an increasingly diverse community, we must learn that expression of one cultural view is not a direct or indirect threat to the expression of another.” Local negotiations will always be important in implementing any overarching agreement and in sustaining good community relations. However they cannot take the place of an overarching agreement because they can too easily descend into a tit-for-tat show of strength at the neighbourhood level. The Community Relations Council believes that the development of the overarching policy is a very important aspect of the issues related to flags. Over the last ten months Community Relations Council has been meeting with the statutory bodies, agencies, local government officers and voluntary/community organisations involved (" "

in issues pertaining to the display of flags in the public space and it is clear that information is also needed on a number of other related aspects of this issue. These include The need for better understanding of the current legal and administrative arrangements • More information on the range of approaches to the display and removal of flags in the public space taken by local authorities across Northern Ireland • Ideas and options available to those negotiating local community agreements on the flying of flags CRC has worked with those engaged in this area to explore the issues and in response has developed a document Managing the Display of Flags in the Public Space (Annex 1). The first section deals with law and administration and the second deals with practical responses. Whilst this document does not attempt to address the higher level policy framework, the need for this was widely accepted in the discussions. CRC is finalising a paper which collated the emerging policy issues. combined with analysis of the potential options for change (legislatively, structurally and practically). CRC will forward this paper when completed. Parades and Protests In a society that values freedom, any discussion on parades and protests must start by saying that violence is condemned and attacks on the police are also unacceptable. The quality of our democracy and our freedom to safely express different opinions depends, in part, on the rule of law. Police officers, upholding the law on our behalf, should be supported by the whole community, including those who wish to have their own way in a parade or protest. The discussion must also acknowledge that the images of conflict and violence do not depict our whole story; they are not even the bigger part of it. Most parades, public commemorations and protests pass off peacefully. In the same weekend that brought us the violent images from Belfast city centre, the World Police and Fire Games held its closing ceremony. The UK City of Culture programme continued in ‘Legend- derry’ with the AllIreland Fleadh officially opened by President Higgins. These are examples of a future which could transcend the zero sum model of identity that has bedevilled us. It is very important that the Panel of Parties discussions recognise that the majority of people who live here take )" "

no part in the zero sum game, are prepared to live and let live, are shamed by the images that we are sending around the world and enraged that we are teaching our children to hate again. CRC believes that we cannot sustain peace that is built on “victory” for one side over another. Whether we live in a United Kingdom or a united Ireland there will need to be a place for everyone and all sides of the constitutional debate and the cultural clashes need to demonstrate the leadership to help us grasp that point. Otherwise we will spend our lives, and those of our children, holding our ground and shouting rights at each other. We should not rely on others to adjudicate between us and subsequently to take the blame for our behaviour when we are displeased with the outcome. CRC has been less directly involved in this issue but it has often supported work to develop good relations in areas where parades have been contentious. The Council has also dealt with the aftermath of situations where community relations have been damaged. On the basis of this experience we are forwarding a paper (annex 2) which we hope will assist the work of the Panel of Parties and the organisation hopes that the current discussions will help us to find a voluntary accommodation of our varied cultures. Dealing with the past Whether we choose to adjudicate the past, collect the stories of the past without judgement, support those who have been hurt in the past, or reconcile with the past, we do not have the options of ignoring it. This issue has been understandably difficult to address when we are trying to maintain equilibrium in the present. Remembering and commemorating those who died or were injured, whether in foreign war or civil conflict, is an important part of our community acknowledgement of the sacrifices of previous generations. However those who died in the conflict here are fresh in our memory and we carry with us the suffering and hurts of the recent past as a real challenge in the present. This is all the more difficult when we know there are still people in our community (across the constitutional divide) who believe that violence is a justifiable means to the achievement of their political objective. For over ten years the Community Relations Council has been able to provide financial and development support in the form of grant schemes to those supporting victims and survivors of the conflict with funds provided by OFMDFM (prior to the establishment of the new Victim Support Service) and with the assistance of the European Union’s Peace Programme. *+" "

This has been a volatile environment in which to work with many feeling hurt, pain, mistrust, fear, suspicion and anger that victims have not received true acknowledgement or recognition for the suffering they have had to carry. The challenge has been to help build trusting relationships, to reduce the isolation felt by victims and survivors and to work towards their integration into the everyday life and fabric of our society. While for many reconciliation may be a step too far, the healing of broken relationships, particularly at the community level, is an essential part of dealing with the past. Allowing opportunities for those who have suffered most in the conflict to talk about their experiences, to be heard, and to listen to the stories of others is important and a fundamental part of moving forward both as individuals and as a community. As we know it takes a big act of self denial to “live and let live” and not to feel that you have betrayed your dead and injured; to be beside your former enemies. Our conflict was very local and often very personal and people remember. In a small place we live near to those that caused us hurt. Coming out of a long history of conflict, our troubles and our grief should make it obvious that we are all different. We have different stories and we want to remember different things. Antagonisms remain despite the long established political settlement. There is pain, grief, anger and disappointment all around us. Memories are personal whether we respond by public acts of remembrance or by our many quiet moments. Peace is therefore about the constant, daily, persistent acts of self-control. It has to be created, day by day, by deliberate acts of forbearance and by finding positive ways of doing things differently, to demonstrate to ourselves and others that we can be something new. Dealing with a divided past when we are trying to build a shared future we regularly see evidence of the risks we face but in the same events we can also see the possibility for change if we choose to make it. Whether we like it or not, diversity is intrinsic to who we were, who we are and who we will be in the future. If we accept this, we can choose to be a society that will tolerate difference, acknowledge the value of freedom of expression, and place respect for ourselves and others at the heart of all commemoration. Since last year the Community Relations Council and Heritage Lottery Fund have been working together to promote an open conversation about how we remember our past in the **" "

public sphere. At the outset we recognised the need for shared values that might underpin our approach to remembering.

In the end we came up with a set of principles: 1. Start from the historical facts; 2. Recognise the implications and consequences of what happened; 3. Understand that different perceptions and interpretations exist; 4. Show how events and activities can deepen understanding of the period; 5. See the act of remembering in the context of an ‘inclusive and accepting society’ The principles are simple but they set a challenge for all of us, whether we are organising a commemoration event or reacting to one. The purpose is not to make us all the same, in what we think or do, but to help us recognise that we are different and that we should be free to express our differences whilst being respectful of others. That is the underpinning social contract that will allow difference to flourish in a shared space. If we can come to an agreement about that, at all levels of society, we have the basis of moving forward without fear of loss of identity or culture. Earlier in 2012 the Community Relations Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund made a practical contribution to the forthcoming decade of centenaries with a series of talks entitled “Remembering the Future” which examined the period from 1912 to 1923, a time that shaped many of our political and cultural allegiances today. Over the 10 weeks of the talks we looked at many strands of our identity and the relationships that cross these islands which were, and remain complex and intertwined. The recordings of the talks and many other resources can be found on the webpage of the Community Relations Council (www.nicrc.org.uk). Based on our work in this area annex 3 contains a paper which we hope will be useful to Panel of Parties discussions. CRC would welcome an opportunity to discuss this submission.

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Annex 1 Flags and Related Matters

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Managing the Display of Flags in the Public Space

September 2013

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Introduction Flags are an emotive issue and some of the issues associated with them are a legacy of our conflicted past. We know that there are many factors that play a part in our response to flags as individuals and communities. Context and shifting meanings or interpretations over time make this a complex issue. Whether we choose to respond by calling for a blanket ban on the flying of flags, a regulated approach that qualifies our freedom to fly flags, or negotiated settlements at the local level, we can probably all agree on one thing, doing nothing will be neither an effective nor a sustainable solution. Many people have worked hard to build a shared and reconciled society and to present us as an attractive, safe and welcoming place to live, work and invest. At the same time images of unrest are regularly transmitted on the internet, TV and newspapers. On the 3rd December 2012 when Belfast City Council voted to fly the union flag on designated days few can have expected the level of unrest that followed – peaceful protests, rioting, intimidation, attacks on elected representatives and the police, and the loss of visitors to the restaurants, bars and shops of Belfast as people adapted, altered their plans and left the city to avoid the unrest. For a time the level of anger appeared to be beyond a political response, an expression of rage that heritage and identity was being erased. In response to the flag dispute earlier in the year the Northern Ireland Assembly affirmed the “absolute and unconditional commitment of all its members to respecting and upholding the rule of law and the pursuit of their political objectives by purely legal and political means”. This was an important unifying statement but it was not a sufficient response to the issues raised during the flag dispute nor could it secure enduring peace and stability in relation to cultural expression. The need for an all party Assembly agreement on the approach to flags was recognised when OFMDFM produced its policy document Together: Building a United Community on 23rd May 2013 to “reflect the Executive’s commitment to improving community relations and building a united and shared society”. In relation to cultural expression, the policy document stated a commitment to – “...developing an open and tolerant society in which everyone is free to mark and celebrate their identity, or indeed identities, in a peaceful and respectful manner.” It recognised that “addressing the challenges will require a new emphasis on both tolerance and respect and an active willingness on behalf of all those involved in celebrating their tradition to acknowledge that we live in a society that is diverse in its make-up. Respect and tolerance are important principles in any democratic society. These principles apply to both *%" "

those involved in celebrating their traditions and those who are not active participants. It is vital that cultural expression is peaceful”. The policy also recognised that – “The fabric of our society is made up of many diverse parts – representing different cultural backgrounds and identities. Within the context of an increasingly diverse community, we must learn that expression of one cultural view is not a direct or indirect threat to the expression of another.” These statements and the commitment to “Establish an All Party Group, with an independent chair, to consider and make recommendations on matters including parades and protests; flags, symbols, emblems and related matters; and the past;” are very welcome if we are to stabilise the situation in relation to cultural expression and create an open, welcoming and united community. Local negotiations will always be important in implementing any overarching agreement and in sustaining good community relations. However they cannot take the place of an overarching agreement because they can too easily descend into a tit-for-tat show of strength at the neighbourhood level. The Community Relations Council believes that the development of the overarching policy is a very important aspect of the flags issue. In discussion with many of the agencies currently involved in flag issues it has become clear to the Community Relations Council that information and guidance is also needed on a number of other related matters. These include – The current legal and administrative arrangements The range of approaches to flying flags taken by local authorities across NI (appendix 1) • The options and best practice available to those negotiating local community agreements on the flying of flags Managing the Display of Flags in the Public Space was developed in response to these issues and to assist those working on flag disputes at the local level. The first section deals with law and administration, and the second deals with practical responses.

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We would like to thank Dominic Bryan for his assistance to our staff with consultations and his invaluable input to the content of this document. Thanks are also due to Bebhinn McKinley, our policy officer who played a leading role in co-ordinating this work and to all the agencies that took part in the discussions which further informed the contents of this paper. We hope it provides useful information which can be updated as new ideas and methods emerge to support our diverse expressions of identity.

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Part One: Context – the legislation, law 1. Legislation relating to the display or removal of the display of flags in public space There are a range legislative powers which may affect the flying of flags in the public space. Responsibility for such legislation rests with the legislature (Northern Ireland Assembly) though the implementation and enforcement of legislation largely rests with the Executive and relevant departments or agencies. It should be noted that the list provided below is as comprehensive as possible but may not be exhaustive. The key pieces of legislation are Terrorism Act 2000 (Section 13) Public Order (NI) Order 1987 (Sections 9. 18, 19 and 23) Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations (NI) 1992 (Rule 4) Roads (NI) Order 1993 (Section 87) Public Processions (NI) Act 1998 Fair Employment and Treatment (NI) Order (Amended 2003) (Article 3A)

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Other legislation has been referenced as being potentially relevant. The following have been referenced by stakeholders but none have been legally tested. Councils believe that there is no legislation which directly addresses flag issues but legislation currently being developed under Local Government Reform could. Northern Ireland Act 1998 (Sections 75 and 76) Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations (NI) 1998 (Schedule 3, Class 7) Planning (NI) Order 1991 (Article 67) Protection from Harassment Order 1997 (Articles 3, 4 and 6) Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973 Protection of the Person and Property (NI) Act 1969 (Section 1) Local Government Act (NI) 1972 The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) (NI) Order 1985 (Article 18) (as amended by Section 36, Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act (NI) 2011 Further information regarding some of the above legislation is provided below Roadsides: Communication from Department of Regional Development (Oct 2011) clarifies that there is no process for obtaining permission to fly flags or emblems on Road Service property including lampposts, trees and other structures adjacent to roads. Further Section *(" "

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87 of the Roads (Northern Ireland) Order 19931 gives the Roads Service authority to remove ‘advertisements, pictures, signs, etc.’ erected ‘without lawful authority’2. The Roads Service can also provide support facilities to take down ‘unwanted flags where there is agreement within the local community to do so’. Private Property: In relation to private property, there is a clear link with current planning legislation, under which flags and emblems are currently defined as ‘advertisements’3. Therefore under this definition the consent to display a flag or emblem requires consent from the DoE under Section 4 of the Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 19924. This however does not apply to the ‘national flag of any country’ which can under Class I of Schedule 2 be displayed ‘on a single flagstaff’. The Terrorism Act Under the Terrorism Act 2000 those displaying symbols of proscribed organisations could be prosecuted. It states that:5 13.—(1) A person in a public place commits an offence if he— (a) wears an item of clothing, or (b) wears, carries or displays an article, in such a way or in such circumstances as to arouse reasonable suspicion that he is a member or supporter of a proscribed organisation. List of Proscribed Organisations of which it is an Offence to Display Flags of Emblems (for further detail on the proscription process and full list of proscribed organisations and see Appendices 2 &3) • • • • • • •
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The Irish Republican Army. Cumann na mBan. Fianna na hEireann. The Red Hand Commando. Saor Eire. The Ulster Freedom Fighters. The Ulster Volunteer Force6.

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Roads (Northern Ireland) Order 1993: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/nisi/1993/3160/contents/made. Section 87 is reproduced at Appendix 1. 2 AQW 539/11-15 answered 24 June 2011. 3 AQO 631/11 answered 30 November 2010. 4 Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1992: http://www.planningni.gov.uk/index/advice/advice_legislation/advice_all_legislation/sub-legislation-1992448.pdf. 5 Section 13 of the Terrorism Act 2000: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/11/pdfs/ukpga_20000011_en.pdf.

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The Irish National Liberation Army. The Irish People’s Liberation Organisation. The Ulster Defence Association. The Loyalist Volunteer Force. The Continuity Army Council. The Orange Volunteers. The Red Hand Defenders.

2. Key agencies that currently have operational involvement in the removal of flags Ultimately those who are responsible for the removal of flags being displayed in the public space are those engaged in their erection. However it should be recognised that on many occasions other agencies are required to provide this role. Below are some of the circumstances when particular agencies have operational involvement. Police Service of Northern Ireland: Leading organisation in the implementation of the Joint Protocol. Flags and emblems of a proscribed organization; where disorder is likely to occur; Roads Service of the Department for Regional Development: On or adjacent to a public road Northern Ireland Housing Executive: On Housing Executive Property; as part of a broad environmental improvement project; Where requested by local representatives Department of the Environment Planning Services: In relation to advertisements regarding private property Local Council: On council owned property such as facilities and amenities NIE: On Northern Ireland Electricity equipment BT and other Telecommunications Companies: On own property 3. Interrelated Human Rights In relation to the flying of flags and the restrictions that may be placed upon such displays, there are several international human rights obligations which may be pertinent. Right to Culture/ Cultural Identity Freedom of thought, conscience and religion

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• Freedom of expression """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
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There is some debate in regards to whether UVF with the date 1912/1913 are historical rather than proscribed

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Right to Equality & Non- Discrimination Right to Property Right to Family and Private Life Promotion of Tolerance, Mutual Respect and Understanding Protection of Minorities

There are specific human rights instruments which may enable or restrict the ability to display flags in the public space such as Human Rights Act 1998 European Convention Human Rights International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966

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4. Policy Context on Display of Flags in Public Space (NI) Joint Protocol in relation to the Display of Flags in Public Areas (for full version see Appendix 4) The first policy document to explicitly deal with the contentious display of flags, was ‘The Joint Protocol In Relation To the Display of Flags in Public Areas’ (2005). This aimed to provide a basis on which the removal of all flags from arterial routes and town centres could be dealt with effectively. It included • the removal of all paramilitary flags and displays • the control of the display of flags in certain areas • the limitation on when flags could be flown and for how long • to secure local agreement that tattered flags don’t enhance the local environment The “Flags Protocol” is a joint agreement by Police Service of NI Department of Social Development Department of Regional Development - Roads Service Department of the Environment – Planning Services NI Housing Executive Office of the First Minister deputy First Minister

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The Joint Flags Protocol references the need to ‘take cognisance of the contents of the Human Rights Act 1998’ specifically referring to European Charter of Human rights, including Article 5 - Right to liberty and security. Article 6 - Right to a fair trial. Article 7 - No punishment without law. Article 8 - Right to respect for private and family life. Article 9 - Freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Article 10 - Freedom of Expression. Article 14 - Prohibition of Discrimination. Protocol 1 of Article 1 - Protection of Property. The “Flags Protocol” has never been fully implemented and it has been largely considered ineffective in coordinating action by statutory bodies. Research by QUB also indicates that there has been a lack of communication regarding the “Flags Protocol” with those either displaying flags or those with responsibilities for their removal. The implications of the absence of an implemented, co-ordinated and monitored “Flags Protocol” are evident in the 2010 QUB Monitoring Report which indicates that about 30% of flags remain up for longer than 3 months and the number of flags in absolute terms remains relatively constant. In addition the location (outside public amenities), content and the length of time they are on display are of significance. This affects personal safety and access to public amenities, housing and workplaces. Having now entered what is referred to as the “decade of commemorations” the issue of flags, their location and duration of their display, is likely to become an ever greater issue. The draft Cohesion, Sharing and Integration Strategy (2010) also highlighted the importance of addressing the issue of flags and working for the removal of “threatening and divisive symbols such as paramilitary flags, racist and sectarian graffiti, paramilitary murals and territorial markers, where these are used in an attempt to intimidate.”

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Part Two – Developing a Local Approach As highlighted in the A Shared Future Policy document (2005), “legislation, whilst important, is only one element of a comprehensive response. The removal of “inappropriate and aggressive” displays of flags (specifically paramilitary flags and any other displays which have the effect of intimidating or harassing) requires a collective response. It also recognised that any approach to the management of displays of flags in the public space requires an approach of a “common project with agencies working collaboratively with the police, elected representatives and local communities as part of environmental improvements with a view to enhancing the areas economically and building trust.” 1. Potential Principles While this document is not intended to offer guidance on the official display of flags on government or local authority buildings a useful starting point for those engaged in the display or removal of flags in the public space is perhaps an examination of the official flag flying protocols across the UK and Ireland. (See appendix 3) In relation to the display of flags in the public space, the Community Relations Council would suggest that a useful starting point should be developing core principles to shape and guide such a process. Below are some of the core principles with have emerged through discussions with stakeholders: Overarching principle In this multi-cultural society, rights have to be balanced by responsibilities. All celebrations of identity must be lawful and those wishing to display flags or emblems in public space need to be mindful of the potential impact this may have on community relations in the vicinity and further afield. Everyone has a right to celebrate their culture but it is paramount that all citizens should be able to enjoy a life free from provocation or intimidation. Core Principles to shape approach and practice Acknowledge – freedom of expression and the importance of expressing cultural identity in the public space/shared space in cities, towns and villages • Respect – for governance, law procedures, appropriate authorities and citizens !#" "

Cultural celebration – should acknowledge flags/symbols particularly significant for those in community, and also challenging for others in the same community Consider – the perceptions and impacts of flag flying on others Recognise - the relevant rights and responsibilities but be mindful that these rights are not absolute Ensure – that flags are treated with respect, from erection to removal and/or disposal Freedom from intimidation – those engaged in the display of flags in the public space should ensure that the type, association and location of the flag and duration of the display does not impinge on another’s freedom from intimidation

• •

• •

2. Developing Practice Approaches and Local Protocols Part one of this document set out the current legal and administrative arrangements. This section attempts to highlight different approaches and practice. CRC considers that any future overarching inter-agency action plan or Protocol that is developed should take cognisance of the enhanced role of local councils following the implementation of Local Government Reform specifically regarding the power of general competencies, the community planning model.

• •

It is important to recognise that those within communities who engage in the display of flags in public space are responsible for resulting actions. It is also important to recognise that any approach requires attitudinal and behavioural shifts which can take a period of time to develop. Central to the latter, attitude surveys conducted by Northern Ireland Life and Times have consistently demonstrated that from 2006 onwards the majority (over 70%) of respondees did not support the display of flags from lampposts in neighbourhoods.7

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7

NILT, 2006, 2007,2008,2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 http://www.ark.ac.uk/nilt/results/comrel.html

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In supporting those individuals, groups, organisations and agencies seeking to engage in developing a local approach, agreement or negotiation, there are a broad range of examples of differing approaches listed below Approach Agencies directly attempting to mediate and negotiate with those either directly responsible or those that have lines of communication with those who are responsible for erecting flags Engaging independent facilitators or mediators to facilitate agreements or removal Developing local community relations/ cross community flags forums to bring a range of actors around the table to discuss the issue of the contentious display of flags and seek approaches through consensus to put in place resolutions Developing single identity flags forums with council officers or political representatives acting as conduits to agree dates for flag flying and their removal Developing local community flags protocols which have an informal standing. Putting in place programmes to increase community capacity and create dialogue opportunities regarding perspectives on flag flying Supporting the establishment of community/residents groups within areas where internal flag flying was high to enable members of the wider community to have a voice regarding the nature of the flag flying with those responsible for their erection. Developing formal flags protocols at the district council level The merits of developing an effective approach include: Direct engagement helps to build relationships with key community representatives and develops engagement on contentious issues • Provision of incentives to communities to consider alternatives to both the flying of flags associated with proscribed organisations and the flying of flags without permission could support engagement and dialogue !%" "

• • • •

Ensures all relevant stakeholders are involved Supporting and enabling local agreements to be reached Ensures equal treatment of all community affiliated flags Engages those who erect flags and who may not normally be involved in formal protocols Skilled impartial external mediators can support resolution and agreement Inter-agency approaches can support cohesive, joined up approach and communication.

• •

There are of course challenges involved in developing an effective approach. Whilst those noted below may not be mitigated in their entirety, they should be given due consideration to enable steps to be taken to attempt to address them. Some challenges identified may include: Sustaining engagement with key individuals and wider community Ensuring incentives provided to stimulate dialogue and agreement regarding the display of flags do not become misused • • • • Cost and resource implications for those engaged Lack of strong leadership either at community or statutory level Difficult to both firstly achieve and then maintain local agreements Lack of awareness and ownership either for the display of flags or those with responsibility for the removal at local level • Some community representatives not being engaging of having limited desire to engage in discussions or action to manage the display of flags • • • Role of media in reporting stories accurately Ensuring strong and consistent support of local elected representatives The imposing of a generic protocol across the district council area could be counterproductive and divisive. Other matters for consideration While there are many positive examples to address these issues what has clearly emerged is that there is a lack of consistency of approach across the region between district councils. While it is important to recognise that a one size fits all approach may not be appropriate, the lack of a consistent approach is also problematic. Where change has been attempted, !&" "

• •

progress has been dependent on a number of factors: the scale and scope of the level of such displays the relationships between individuals within community and/or between agencies at a local level • • the demographic features within areas understanding both at community and statutory level of the current Joint Flags Protocol • • level or appetite for creating change current local and/or regional political and social environment.

• •

Through discussions engaged in the development of this guide it emerged that there is a broad consensus that some form regulation is required, but limited agreement on what shape or form regulation should or could take. Also whilst there is clearly a significant level of activity taking place to support resolving contentious flag flying, the necessity for a an overarching protocol for all agencies and their officers to work within remains critical. 3. Key Agencies who could contribute to developing a local approach The Community Relations Council recognises that there are a broad range of organisations, departments and agencies that have a remit for managing the display and removal of flags in the public space. It is recognised that to ensure dialogue and discussions, agreements and actions are carried out in an effective way requires the engagement within a coordinated approach and process. In developing a localised approach in addition to those with an operational involvement remit, it would be useful to also seek representation from key organisations that could provide support and guidance to the development of any process (see appendix 6). 4. Further Information and support While this document seeks to provide information to support those engaged at a practical level in this area, there are other external issues that need to be included. A core element to the success of any initiatives will be the existence of significant political and community leadership and commitment at all levels. This must be actively and sincerely demonstrated. !'" "

This political and community leadership needs to bring forward a new vision to enable the important right of celebration of identity and culture to be assured, but which also protects others where such displays transcend beyond these rights and become an overt display of territory, intimidation, threat and power. If such actions are not taken, these displays will be persistently damaging to the economic and tourism potential of our society, and if cannot find resolution our communities and society will continue to be caught in the legacy of the past, from which there will be no escape even for future generations. We have a finite opportunity to tackle, address and overcome these issues. It will require to us all to make difficult accommodations, but it is imperative that we seize this opportunity to ensure a positive legacy for all our futures.

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Appendix 1: Policies of Northern Ireland Councils (Belfast City Council Policy on the Flying of the Union Flag EQIA June 2012 Union flag flown Council 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 Antrim Ards Armagh Ballymena Ballymoney Banbridge Carrickfergus Castlereagh Coleraine Cookstown Craigavon Derry Down Dungannon Fermanagh Larne Limavady Lisburn Magherafelt Moyle Newry & Mourne Newtownabbey North Down Omagh Strabane every day every day every building 3 buildings Neutral flag No flags designated +2 HQ No flags No flags No flags every day HQ No flags designated HQ No flags designated + others HQ + others No flags Neutral flag Frequency every day every day designated days every day designated +2 every day every day every day every day when building is in use No flags Location 2 buildings HQ + 4 other buildings HQ HQ + 2 other buidlings 3 buildings HQ HQ HQ 2 buildings Alternative policy

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Appendix 2: Terrorism Act 2000 Part II Section 3 Proscription (1) For the purposes of this Act an organisation is proscribed if— (a) it is listed in Schedule 2, or (b) it operates under the same name as an organisation listed in that Schedule. (2) Subsection (1)(b) shall not apply in relation to an organisation listed in Schedule 2 if its entry is the subject of a note in that Schedule. (3) The Secretary of State may by order— (a) add an organisation to Schedule 2; (b) remove an organisation from that Schedule; (c) amend that Schedule in some other way. (4) The Secretary of State may exercise his power under subsection (3)(a) in respect of an organisation only if he believes that it is concerned in terrorism. (5) For the purposes of subsection (4) an organisation is concerned in terrorism if it— (a) commits or participates in acts of terrorism, (b) prepares for terrorism, (c) promotes or encourages terrorism, or (d) is otherwise concerned in terrorism. (5A) The cases in which an organisation promotes or encourages terrorism for the purposes of subsection (5)(c) include any case in which activities of the organisation— (a) include the unlawful glorification of the commission or preparation (whether in the past, in the future or generally) of acts of terrorism; or (b) are carried out in a manner that ensures that the organisation is associated with statements containing any such glorification. (5B) The glorification of any conduct is unlawful for the purposes of subsection (5A) if there are persons who may become aware of it who could reasonably be expected to infer that what is being glorified, is being glorified as— (a) conduct that should be emulated in existing circumstances, or (b) conduct that is illustrative of a type of conduct that should be so emulated. #+" "

(5C)In this section— • “glorification” includes any form of praise or celebration, and cognate expressions are to be construed accordingly; • “statement” includes a communication without words consisting of sounds or images or both. (6) Where the Secretary of State believes— (a) that an organisation listed in Schedule 2 is operating wholly or partly under a name that is not specified in that Schedule (whether as well as or instead of under the specified name), or (b) that an organisation that is operating under a name that is not so specified is otherwise for all practical purposes the same as an organisation so listed, he may, by order, provide that the name that is not specified in that Schedule is to be treated as another name for the listed organisation. (7) Where an order under subsection (6) provides for a name to be treated as another name for an organisation, this Act shall have effect in relation to acts occurring while— (a) the order is in force, and (b) the organisation continues to be listed in Schedule 2, as if the organisation were listed in that Schedule under the other name, as well as under the name specified in the Schedule. (8) The Secretary of State may at any time by order revoke an order under subsection (6) or otherwise provide for a name specified in such an order to cease to be treated as a name for a particular organisation. (9) Nothing in subsections (6) to (8) prevents any liability from being established in any proceedings by proof that an organisation is the same as an organisation listed in Schedule 2, even though it is or was operating under a name specified neither in Schedule 2 nor in an order under subsection (6)

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Appendix 3: Terrorism Act 2000 – Schedule 2 Proscribed Organisations (Full List)

Egyptian Islamic Jihad Al-Gama’at alIslamiya

Lashkar e Tayyaba

Kurdistan Workers’ Party (Partiya Karkeren Kurdistan) (PKK)

Al Ittihad Al Islamia

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)

Revolutionary Peoples’ Liberation Party—Front (Devrimci Halk Kurtulus PartisiCephesi) (DHKP-C)

Ansar Al Islam

Armed Islamic Group (Groupe Islamique Armée)(GIA)

The military wing of Hizballah, including the Jihad Council and all units reporting to it (including the Hizballah External Security Organisation).

Basque Homeland and Liberty (Euskadi ta Askatasuna) (ETA)

Ansar Al Sunna

Salafist Group for Call and Combat (Groupe Salafiste pour la Prédication et le Combat) (GSPC) Babbar Khalsa International Sikh Youth Federation Harakat Mujahideen Al-Qa’ida Islamic Jihad Union The Saved Sect Tehrik Nefaz-e Shari'at Muhammadi

Hamas-Izz al-Din al-Qassem Brigades

17 November Revolutionary Organisation (N17)

Groupe Islamique Combattant Marocain

Palestinian Islamic Jihad—Shaqaqi Abu Nidal Organisation Islamic Army of Aden Lashkar-e Jhangvi Jamaat ul-Furquan Baluchistan Liberation Army

Abu Sayyaf Group Asbat Al-Ansar Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan Libyan Islamic Fighting Group Jundallah Teyrebaz Azadiye Kurdistan.

Harakat-ul-Jihad-ul-Islami Harakat-ul-Jihad-ul-Islami (Bangladesh) Al-Ghurabaa Sipah-e Sahaba Pakistan Khuddam ul-Islam Jammat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh

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Appendix 4: Joint Protocol in Relation to the Display of Flags in Public Areas 1.0. 1.1 INTRODUCTION The display of flags, in the Northern Ireland context, is an emotive issue, which has existed for some time. Flags may be used for many purposes which can include: (a) (b) (c) (d) 1.2 celebration of cultural identity; marking a festive event; sectarianism or intimidation; marking out of territory.

The use of flags in instances such as celebration or festivity are not normally an issue. However, the use of flags for other more sinister purposes is of more concern and is unacceptable in a peaceful and tolerant society.

1.3

The issue of flags supporting proscribed organisations is clearer in that the display of such flags is illegal. What can be less clear is what constitutes such a flag in the eyes of the law.

1.4

Often the reason for the display of flags is perceived in different ways by different members of the community. What seems perfectly acceptable to one side is an insult or worse to the other side.

1.5

There are often misconceptions regarding the powers of police and other agencies in dealing with flags issues. In particular, police are mainly concerned with the display of flags supporting proscribed organisations, where flags are likely to cause a breach of the Peace or for other possible criminal intent. It is reasonable to say that in recent times there has been a willingness, in some areas, to adopt a new attitude to the display of flags and related issues, which has helped improve the environment in these areas. However, there are many examples of aggressive displays which aim to intimidate and harass.

1.6

This protocol sets out an agreed partnership approach in dealing with flags issues between the Police Service of Northern Ireland, the Department of the Environment, Department for Regional Development, Department for Social Development, Office of ##"

"

the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive. In time it is hoped that all local councils will examine this protocol and adopt it as a way forward for the community in Northern Ireland. 2.0 2.1 JOINT AIMS To improve the environment by removing the display of paramilitary flags or flags of a sectarian nature. 2.2 To develop a partnership approach, which allows the agencies involved to impact on the flags issue in a cohesive manner. 2.3 To develop a strategic and graduated response to the flags issue which involves consultation, shared understanding, negotiation and, if necessary, proportionate and legal use of enforcement methods. 2.4 To provide a proactive approach, with the support of communities and their representatives, to address: • • • The removal of all flags and emblems from arterial routes and town centres; The removal of all paramilitary flags and displays; The control of displays of flags and emblems in particular areas: e.g.: mixed and interface areas and near buildings such as schools, hospitals, places of worship and community halls; • Flag flying should be limited to particular times and particular dates; and that: • where flags are displayed for a festive or other occasion, that the display is reasonably time-bounded and that: • flags, including plastic ties, tape and poles, should be removed by the community after the agreed period; • To encourage communities to accept that flags displayed which are tattered and torn or discoloured do not enhance the environment and should be removed. 3.0 3.1 CORE ISSUES This protocol and any actions arising therefrom will take cognisance of the contents of the Human Rights Act 1998 and, in particular: #$" "

Article 5 - Right to liberty and security. Article 6 - Right to a fair trial. Article 7 - No punishment without law. Article 8 - Right to respect for private and family life. Article 9 - Freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Article 10 - Freedom of Expression. Article 14 - Prohibition of Discrimination. Protocol 1 of Article 1 - Protection of Property. 3.2 In particular, any actions under this protocol must be necessary, proportionate and legal in line with the general principles of Human Rights. 3.3 Whichever agency is placed in the most effective position to consult, negotiate or resolve situations will take the lead and will be supported by the other partners within their remit and specialism. Where the display is one that is causing community tension or is affecting the quality of life for a community, then the police will take the lead. 3.4 In addition, in carrying out their functions under this protocol, the various partners will take cognisance of their statutory duties under Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and, in particular, their duty of promoting good relations between persons of different religious belief, political opinion or racial group. 3.5 Each partner agrees to keep other partners abreast of changes in policy, operations or actions, which may affect this protocol or operational decisions deriving from it. 3.6 Each partner will provide its support or services, for operational action, within its own budgets in a spirit of mutual operational support. 4.0 4.1 KEY RESPONSIBILITIES The Police Service will support partners and, where best placed, will take forward consultation and negotiation with local community representatives where the display of flags is an issue.

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4.2

Where necessary, the Police Service will take the lead in the removal of flags where the partner agency is unable to take action, and where negotiation and consultation have failed or where such items must be seized as evidence for Court purposes.

4.3

Where other partners seek to remove flags and any disorder or other criminality is evident or likely to occur, the Police Service will provide support or take the lead, where appropriate.

4.4

Where the Police Service seek to take action or initiate prosecution regarding flags issues, partner agencies will provide any evidential material, which they have, to support such action or prosecution.

4.5

Roads Service, when called upon by a lead Agency, will provide partnership support facilities such as Mobile Extendable Working Platforms (‘Tower Wagons’) to take down unwanted flags that have been agreed but not removed by the community themselves.

4.6

The Northern Ireland Housing Executive will take the lead where it is proposed to address the removal of flags as part of a broader environmental improvement project; or where requested by local community representatives.

4.7

The role of the DOE Planning services in relation to flags will stem from the application of the Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations (NI) 1992 and action will be taken, in consultation with the PSNI and other partner agencies, where circumstances permit.

5.0 5.1

INFORMATION EXCHANGE Each partner agrees to provide relevant and necessary information to other partner agencies, to support actions being taken in relation to flags issues.

5.2 5.3

The exchange of information will be subject to confidentiality, where so indicated. No exchange of information will take place where this is likely to contravene the Data Protection Act, or similar legislation or a confidentiality agreement. #&"

"

6.0 6.1

MEASURING SUCCESS It is difficult to measure success in these matters as a result of this protocol and its operation. There are many extraneous factors, which can influence these situations.

6.2

The qualitative measure of success will be an improvement in the environment leading towards a more peaceful and tolerant society.

6.3

Quantitative measures may include the number of complaints regarding flags, the number removed voluntarily, the number removed by enforcement and the number of prosecutions.

7.0 7.1

REVIEW This protocol will be subject to review after its first year or earlier if necessary.

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Appendix 5: Official Flag Flying Protocols 1. UK England, Scotland and Wales In England, Wales or Scotland the flying of flags is not the subject of statute law. However responsibility for issuing guidance on the flying of national flags on government buildings falls to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS apart from those which are the responsibility of a devolved administration. There are 15 appointed days each year and 4 additional saints’ days when the Union Flag is flown in the respective units of the UK, in England there are 16 days, including St George’s Day. Additionally the Union Flag is flown for the State Opening of Parliament and the prorogation. The Union Flag may be flown on all days of the year from government buildings and is also flown for visiting Heads of State or the death of Heads of State. When Parliament is sitting, the Union Flag is flown from the Victoria Tower of the Palace of Westminster. The Union Flag is not flown while Parliament is in recess and will only be hoisted on the appointed days. 2. Republic of Ireland The Department of the Taoiseach has general responsibility in relation to the National Flag and is primarily concerned with the protocol for the flying of the flag and its role as such therefore, is an advisory one. Guidance from the Department of the Taoiseach also details that when the National Flag has become worn or frayed it is no longer fit for display, and should not be used in any manner implying disrespect. It further details that the National Flag should be displayed in the open only between sunrise and sunset, except on the occasion of public meetings, processions, or funerals, when it may be displayed for the duration of such functions. It is the normal practice to fly the National Flag daily at all military posts and from a limited number of important State buildings. The specified dates that the National Flag is flown on St Patrick’s Day (the National Holiday), Easter Sunday and Easter Monday (in #(" "

commemoration of the Rising of 1916), and the National Day of Commemoration on the Sunday closest to 11 July (the date of the Anglo-Irish Truce in 1921). On these occasions the National Flag is flown from all State buildings throughout the country which are equipped with flagpoles. However it is also flown on the occasion of other significant national and local events such as festivals and commemorations.

3. Northern Ireland In Northern Ireland the Flags (Northern Ireland) Order 2000 came into force on 11 November 2000 and gave the Secretary of State the power under Article 3(1) ‘to make regulations regulating the flying of flags at government buildings ’which would remain in force for as long as the Order was in force’. Under Article 3(2) a “government building” is defined as a building wholly or mainly occupied by members of the Northern Ireland Civil Service. Article 2(1) of the regulations state that ‘the Union Flag shall be flown at the government buildings specified in Part I of the Schedule to these Regulations on the days specified in Part II of the Schedule’. Part I of the Schedule is a list of specified government buildings on which the Union Flag must be flown and Part II of the Schedule refers to the days on which the Union Flag must be flown. The flying of flags at government buildings, otherwise stated in the Regulations, is prohibited.

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Appendix 6: Additional Agencies and Organisations that could contribute to developing a localised approach Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister Department for Social Development Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Department of Justice Department of the Environment – Planning Service Arts Council of Northern Ireland Parades Commission Community Relations Council Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission Equality Commission Northern Ireland Department of Education and Local Education and Library Boards BT and other telecommunications providers Policing and Community Safety Partnerships Local District Councils

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Annex 2 Parades and Protests

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Introduction A fundamental challenge facing a society emerging from conflict is to move from antagonism to a peace based on real justice for all, trust, and recognition of the value of diversity and the contribution to be made by people from different backgrounds. There are a number of what CRC has called matters of culture, touching on allegiance, identity and security, which ‘have the capacity to draw whole groups into hostility and set off a cycle of action and reaction which gives fuel to deeper fears and angers’. Parades are one of these matters of culture that can have a significant impact on community relations. For many, parades play an important role in cultural celebration, remembrance and commemoration, yet there some parades that remain sources of dispute and have the potential to threaten peace, stability, prosperity and the creation of a shared and better future for all. The recent Peace Monitoring Report (Nolan 2013) highlighted that the ‘continuing absence of any agreed strategy for flags, parades or dealing with the past left the political establishment vulnerable’, and that ‘public order and the rule of law was undermined by the lack of shared commitment to existing institutions like the Parades Commission and by the absence of clear agreed understandings on the legislation governing public protest’. Parading and its associated problems is a concern not just for those parading and those protesting, but for the entire community. The contested nature of some parades and protests are a symptom of much wider issues, but also a contributory factor to them. It is critical that we seek to resolve the deep underlying issues which continue to produce cultural antagonism. Cultural displays need to be entirely free of intimidation and threat to any person or community. Protests need to be peaceful and based on a respect for the people on parade and their rights. Freedom of speech and peaceful assembly should be a reality which everyone enjoys, without fearing that their safety or their fundamental rights are at risk. Context These talks offer a new opportunity for dialogue for civic and political society to agree a new tone and understanding of parading. The North Inquiry (1997) established the current structures to adjudicate on parades. There has been mixed reaction to the Parades Commission and this has resulted in calls for either a new structure or new legislation. The $!" "

Strategic Review in 2008 and the 2010 public consultation on a proposed Public Assemblies and Protest Bill struggled to achieve an alternative consensus based solution8. Furthermore, we are now in a very intense period of remembering. This comprises the ‘Decade of Centenaries’ but also the very recent past. It is this recentness and the fact that we have not yet been able to reach a consensus on how we deal with the past that could prove very difficult in terms of parading. The recent parading dispute in Castlederg revealed the complexity of feelings around parading such as the deep trauma experienced by a small community as well as the desire for individuals and groups to remember. The emotions that transpire at these events reveal the hearts and minds issues that need to be tackled as well. Next Steps What needs to happen over the next few months? CRC believes the Panel of Parties talks offer a critical opportunity. If parading is to be resolved, we need to see a new climate of accommodation and tolerance which impacts on public space, cultural celebration and our cultural and educational institutions. These deliberations should be far-reaching and enable a diversity of voices to speak into the debate. It would be particularly useful to hear from groups who whilst not directly involved in arranging parades or protest can experience both positive and negative impacts. CRC has links with a range of groups, either directly or through signposting, and we would be keen to facilitate such meetings with the working group. CRC Contribution Our submission sets out Council’s involvement in assisting others to find solutions to problems surrounding parades and protests, and will highlight key policy comments made by CRC under a number of key headings. Finally, the submission will draw attention to some other issues that need to be considered by those involved in the Panel of Parties talks.

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CRC Policy Position The following section will outline the Council’s key policy positions regarding this issue. Protection of Human Rights It is the task of a democratic society to seek to ensure that the rights of everyone are upheld and respected at all times. Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the Right of Freedom of Peaceful Assembly9, must be upheld and should be the basis for any discussion on parades. The role for community relations is to bridge the complicated and misinterpreted landscape and legislation and take us beyond stalemate. Community Engagement Local communities are a crucial element in this search for a solution. CRC advocates support for structures and programmes of engagement that build support and understanding at a community level. This should include an understanding of the relevant human rights obligations, as well as the restrictions and limitations that may be placed on these rights if they affect the rights of others. This rights and responsibility discourse needs to be widespread right across civic society. Mediation If the right to assembly is questioned then mediation will play an important function, both at a formal and informal level. Protecting the freedom of peaceful assembly can be achieved by minimal enforcement or arbitrary regulation and CRC would prefer a strong emphasis on participatory regulation, compromise, negotiation and increased understanding as the basis for moving forward. CRC is strongly supportive of local discussion, local agreement, and formal mediation as a way towards resolving disputes. Therefore CRC wants any solution to maximise opportunities for dialogue as well as enabling different methods of interventions. Ideally we """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
9

http://www.echr.coe.int/Documents/Convention_ENG.pdf

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need a model which allows sustained mediation. CRC does not believe that mediation should only be applied in extreme circumstances, or centred on the containment or management of emergency situation; rather, it should be applied throughout the year to assist dialogue and negotiation around these thorny issues. Finally, local accommodation is best built when all parties are sure that agreements reached are just and fair and fit a framework of principles which is agreed and applies universally to all.

Mediators Mediators have a critical role to play. The involvement of mediators can help instigate dialogue or help sustain contact either at key stages of the process or at specific times of tension. It is therefore important that mediators are trained to a professional standard and are acceptable to communities as honest brokers. CRC believes that appointment should be through an open and transparent process, compliant with advertising standards and accessible to a wide range of qualified mediators. Additionally, good quality training for mediators should be provided alongside a robust monitoring and evaluation service to keep abreast of issues, assess impact and constantly improve on service.

Adjudications In the absence of agreement on cultural issues the legal framework must come into play. The development of a law10 for parades and protests is basically a substitute for agreement, and as it stands it remains focused on managing rather that resolving the wider issues. CRC believes that when no solution is forthcoming then the adjudications of parades and protests must be clearly based on a rights approach. Adjudications should be framed in a consistent and transparent manner in which the balance of rights and international obligations applied in each case is explicitly identified. It is important that there is clarity on competing rights. In spite of years of decision-making, the issue of the balance of rights to be applied in relation to parading remains contested and it is therefore imperative that determinations should seek to create greater consistency and """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
10

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/2/crossheading/general-regulation-of-public-processions

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clarity around the issues of competing rights. There are obvious roles here for statutory and non-statutory organisations in helping to raise public awareness about the rights framework relating to peaceful assembly and the rights of others. Adjudicating Structures In the absence of voluntary agreements and the continued contentious issue of parading in Northern Ireland CRC believes that an adjudicating body is probably still needed. It should be independent and impartial. Membership should be drawn up through an open and transparent process, and any appointments made should meet the highest standards of public appointments and consistent with OCPANI guidance. Finally the body should be broadly reflective the whole community. Monitors Monitors play an important role in supporting those who have organised a parade or protest, and the information they feedback can be used to improve future parades/protests. Monitors should be independent and should be required to adhere to a Code of Conduct11. Young People Finally special attention should be paid to young people. Too often young people are caught up at parade flashpoints and blamed for creating tension. It would be appropriate for the Panel of Parties to proactively seek to engage with young people and those who work with and support young people to ensure their views are captured during this important period. Long-term, relevant bodies should engage with young people’s groups and organisations, and specifically young people themselves, throughout the year to help protect them during period of communal tension.

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11

Code of conduct of the Network of Independent Monitors in the Cape Town Model these include: be committed to the principles of the UN Declaration of Human Rights; be committed to independent monitoring; be accessible to all parties being monitored; pledge to promote peace and work to end violence; be committed to non-violent action and methods of monitoring; report truthfully and accurately on situations; strive to act confidently, calmly and diplomatically; display sensitivity and empathy for the vulnerability of victims of violence; respect the need for confidentiality; not publicly display any party preference (in word, by action or by wearing party badges or clothing) while monitoring; Democratic Dialogue;

http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/dd/report12/report12b.htm " $&" "

The above section has reflected on various positions CRC has taken over the years in relation to parading and protest. Fundamentally there is a need to protect the right to assembly, and to ensure all efforts are made to uphold this right. The invoking or restricting of this right to protect the rights of others is another critical element. How decisions are taken regarding any restrictions should be clear and concise thus creating an opportunity for enhanced understanding and acceptance. Finally interventions that can help find a local resolution are critical and must be supported on an ongoing basis. Support and Intervention The CRC has a long history of involvement in the parading issue. Our approach is multidimensional and consists of supporting organisations and communities to engage on the hard questions, either through direct involvement or providing grant-aid to support this work12. This developmental work has the potential to result in positive outcomes such as building trust between parade organisers, police, and the wider community including residents and business community. (Current CRC support is listed in Appendix A). At other times the work has to be halted due to tensions at local level, but at all times the opportunity for dialogue remains the goal. Yet, despite progressive interventions and local solutions13 it is very clear the issue is not easily solved, and quite often solutions remain fragile. Yet, it is important to note that there have been significant achievements. Much of this has taken place behind the scenes and often goes unreported (perhaps only those involved will know the true efforts). Therefore it can be quite difficult to list successes in the apprehension of breaking confidences. Yet, there are some that have been indentified for the purposes of research and are in the public domain. It would be useful to reflect on these models of good practice during these negotiations. Other matters for consideration This section will quickly draw attention to a number of issues that should be examined over the coming months. """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
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,-,"./0E"/:2"85:;7:<30";5"0<445F;"/:2"N5FU"5:"700<30"F36/;7:L";5"4/F/230"/:2"4F5;30;0J"7:"4/F;78<6/F"5<F"85F3"LF/:;"/:2"01/66"LF/:;" 08.3130"./M3"7:M30;32"15:39"27F38;69"7:"1327/;75:E"F303/F8."/:2"=F5/23F"85:M3F0/;75:0"5O"8<6;<F/6"27M3F07;9"3TLT"C3/83"/:2"-385:8767/;75:" VF5<4"HC-VIE"@327/;75:"Q5F;.3F:"RF36/:2E"W60;3F"G/:2"D00587/;75:"/0"N366"/0"A7M3F07;9",./663:L30T""" Apprentice Boys Parades in Derry/Londonderry, Covenant Parade 2012, St Patrick’s Day Parade Belfast.

13

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Tensions Outside of the legal and human rights setting is the practice of parading in NI. It is this practice, which can be most damaging to community relations. Some dispute the use of community relations as a consideration in the adjudication process yet as it stands this is within the parameters of the legislation. It would therefore be useful to discuss how human rights and community relations are used in the parading discourse and how this could be improved. There is no denying that the fall out of contentious and un-resolved parading requests can have disastrous effects on both local and wider community relations. We must find a new way of having this debate without positioning human rights and community relations against each other. Dialogue Outside the legal framework, it is sustained engagement and dialogue that can ameliorate tensions. This dialogue does not happen by itself. Sometimes, like these Panel of Parties talks themselves, it requires an external voice, a fixer, who can keep the channels open. It is a local negotiating tool that needs time to build trust and understanding. During the talks period it would be extremely important that participants hear from a range of communities who have successfully managed to work out an agreement. It would be beneficial to reflect on: how inclusive talks were achieved; what guided successful interventions; how everyone remained at the table at difficult periods - what and who kept the talks focused; • what values and principles were agreed from the outset and what commitment they gave one another. None of the above is new. This dialogue will continue to happen regardless of what comes out of these talks but it would be useful to look at how it works in other areas, who is at the table, who keeps them at the table, mechanisms for dealing with disputes, and the long term $(" "

• • •

vision of those present. It will certainly not be a one size fits all, but it is a sound structure for making further progress. The dialogue element of dealing with the parading issue cannot be over-emphasised and the effects of non-participation can have disastrous effects. If adjudication is required it would be good practice if the body not only received representations but also actively sought to hear from a wide range of stakeholders in the area. Rights and Responsibilities The language of parading and protests is heavily weighted with ‘losing’, ‘winning’, ‘not being allowed’. Yet what seems to be missing from this discourse is that with rights comes responsibilities. Whilst there might be a growing recognition that everyone has rights it can frequently result in a prioritisation of rights conversation resulting in a debate on who has more rights, or whose right is more important. We need to find a better way of enhancing an understanding of these issues – developing this base could open new opportunities for local engagement and mediation. Shared Space CRC defines shared space as a space that is welcoming, accessible and safe. It would be helpful if the discussions sought to focus on how the rights of different identities are facilitated in different spaces e.g. commercial verses residential. In having this conversation CRC would draw the group’s attention to the legislation and practice in Scotland. Glasgow City Council’s Policy and Code of Conduct on Public Processions14 sets out some of the following conditions i.e. only allowing parades between 7.30am – 9.00pm; no music played before 9.00am and after 6.00pm (further restrictions may be required after considering the type of premises on the proposed route e.g. residential developments, places of worship(irrespective of whether a service is in progress), football grounds and public houses); the presumption is that processions will avoid residential areas and should, where practical, keep to main arterial routes; and organisers are required to detail reasons why it is necessary to pass through the city centre. Impromptu Assembly """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
14

http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=6918

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CRC’s response to OFMDFM’s consultation on Public Assemblies, Parades & Protest Bill (Northern Ireland) raised the importance of being able to arrange an impromptu assembly. CRC was concerned at the proposed restriction of 50 people and believed any move to restrict this spontaneous practice could have unintended consequences. In the past CRC has supported numerous gatherings which have had a community relations focus. These are both necessary and legitimate events for a democratic society and CRC would be uneasy about changes that would extend the role of the criminal law into new areas, with potential consequences for community relations. Law & Order The parties need to discuss how they can come together collectively as one voice to condemn attacks on law and order. Civic society wants to hear a united strong voice from the political leadership of the Assembly. Too often that collective voice is absent and emerges as a fragmented message. It would be extremely positive, if coming out of these talks, the parties would commit to developing and publishing a ‘statement of expectation’ along with other strategic stakeholders in advance of the parade season. Conclusion In the context of international human rights standards and obligations the CRC believes that the parading and protests issue can be resolved. A new climate of accommodation and tolerance impacting on public space, cultural celebration and our cultural and educational institutions could have far-reaching achievements.

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Appendix A: CRC Support and Intervention Interaction Institute of Conflict Research React North Belfast Interface Network Peace & Reconciliation Group Belfat Interface Project Intercomm Ballynafeigh Community Development Association Groundwork LINC Rural Community Network

• • • • • • • • • • •

Often the work these organisations are engaged in parading as a specific issue, or can involve work of a more single-identity nature which includes working with Bands Fora to provide them with the skills to manage parades and minimise negative impacts.

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Annex 3 Dealing with the past

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Background In 1998 the Agreement 15cemented the values of reconciliation and mutual respect in an international peace treaty. In the Declaration of Support, the signatories committed themselves to ‘partnership, equality and mutual respect as the basis of relationships within Northern Ireland, between North and South, and between these islands’. There was a specific reference to the tragedies of the past with the following commitment made: ‘We must never forget those who have died or been injured, and their families. But we can best honour them through a fresh start, in which we firmly dedicate ourselves to the achievement of reconciliation, tolerance and mutual trust, and to the protection and vindication of the human rights of all’. In addition to this the signatories to the Agreement committed themselves to ongoing actions in relation to reconciliation and victims of violence and ‘recognised that victims have a right to remember as well as to contribute to a changed society’. The aftermath of the Agreement witnessed many political ups and downs, with intermittent devolved and direct rule administration. However, the current devolved administration has given society new hope that power-sharing in government can work and that reconciliation may be possible. What this all points to is that political stability brings with it many expectations in relation to the development and implementation of public policy bringing the possibility of real change to communities and personal life chances as well as to institutions and structures. This has created a huge opportunity to tackle the legacy of division and to create a cohesive, shared and integrated society, open and welcoming to all, resolving conflicts on a purely peaceful basis. The Together: Building a United Community16 strategy has emerged against the backdrop of years of community effort and an unsurpassed level of international investment and in the context of an existing policy.

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15 16

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/136652/agreement.pdf http://www.ofmdfmni.gov.uk/together_building_a_united_community.pdf

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Context Recently there has been significant political and public interest, commentary and debate in relation to the area of dealing with past. The symbolism derived from the increasing discourse and analysis may be two-fold, either that the current approach has faltered or that as a society we have reached an evolutionary point within the peace process whereby we recognise that the necessity of addressing the issues of dealing with past can no longer be deferred. Yet the difficulty is that there is a lack of political and societal consensus as to how we understand, interpret or address the past. Consequently, this indecision has resulted in a piecemeal approach to dealing with very serious issues. The busy landscape of legislation, structures and policy frameworks is reflected in a Strategy for Victims and Survivors (2009), Commission for Victims and Survivors (2008), and the Victims and Survivors Service (2012) which are all tasked with promoting the interests of victims and survivors and offering financial support to individuals and groups. Furthermore the critical issue of searching for truth recovery and justice is under the remit of a number of bodies such as the Police Ombudsman (1998), the Historical Enquiries Team (2006) and the Attorney General. In addition, Public Inquiries have also formed part of this approach for dealing with this aspect of the past. What has emerged, despite the spirit and intention of addressing some of the issues, is a complex and complicated environment. This multi dimensional approach, with no overarching strategic intention or vision, has created a perception of paralysis. Merge this with varying perspectives of the past e.g. drawing a line under the past, continued pursuit for truth and/or justice, the development of truth commissions, the introduction of amnesties, or a combination of a number of these and you quickly sense the magnitude of the task. A growing number of matters and events have brought this area firmly back onto the political and public agenda in relation to how we deal with components of the past, and the need for an overarching framework, namely the HMIC Report into the Historical Enquiries Team, Civil Service (Special Advisers) Bill17 , the Castlederg Volunteers commemoration, postponement """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
17

http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/Assembly-Business/Legislation/Current-Non-Executive-Bill-Proposals/CivilService-Special-Advisers-Bill/ and http://www.hmic.gov.uk/media/inspection-of-the-police-service-ofnorthern-ireland-historical-enquiries-team-20130703.pdf

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of plans for the Maze, the rejection of the call for an Omagh Public Inquiry and the releasing of coroners’ reports into several conflict related deaths. These have brought to the fore many of the issues of commemoration and remembering, reconciliation, truth recovery, reintegration of prisoners and victims and survivors. The combination of these with other legacy issues, such as flags, emblems, interfaces and parades bring us to a difficult fork in peace process. It is likely that the very decisions that are made will set the trajectory for how as a society we approach the multiple layers of the past and critically how we go forward towards building a shared and cohesive society. Within this context, the Community Relations Council (CRC) works to bring constructive and balanced considerations, commentary and advice to the process of dealing with the past. CRC – Contribution to the Discourse CRC has been engaged in the issues stemming from the legacy of the past at a discourse, policy development and funding delivery levels since its organisational formation. From this the council has developed a considerable level of knowledge and practical experience in relation to the sensitivity and challenges involved. Policy CRC’s overarching thinking, messages, recommendations and statements regarding the legacy of the past is contained within the Council’s response to the Eames/Bradley Consultative Group on the Past (2008). These comments continue to be pertinent to the current discussions. Primarily CRC believes that, as a society emerging from conflict, dealing with our troubled and conflicted past is an unavoidable and necessary moral obligation. Whilst recognition must be given to the huge political and societal progress the shadow of the past continues to haunt the future. CRC believes that the legacy of the past must deal with the specific issues of victims and survivors, and truth recovery and justice. However, we feel any solution must embrace wider society. Sectarianism and division have not yet disappeared and continue to impact on the present day; individuals, communities, towns, villages, the workplace and service delivery continue to experience the social, economic, physical and emotional legacies of the past. Unfortunately for too long public policy accepted the principle that we """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" %%" "

are a divided society without acknowledgement or comment, 18 and Council has subsequently argued for a ‘regional peace plan’. This has emerged in the shape of the Together Building a United Community strategy and it is therefore important that recommendations emerging from these current talks consider the current policy landscape. What follows is a number of key policy positions that have shaped our thinking on how to deal with the past: Support for victims and survivors groups must be needs-based and strategic, with proper evaluation and distillation of good practice. (Whilst, it is recognised that OFMdFM has responded to this recommendation through the establishment of the Victims and Survivors Service, it is too soon to assess if this has been fully achieved). • • Truth and justice should be pursued through appropriate formal legal structures. A process of truth recovery should combine bottom-up story-telling initiatives and a Commission of Historical Clarification. However the area of the legacy of the past should not be seen as one singular thematic area but rather as a series of sub themes. Yet it is the culmination of the many issues in each of these sub thematic areas that can give the perception that the issue of the legacy of the past is intractable. CRC has put forward both commentary and recommendations in relation to a number of areas including: Definition of a victim/survivor Processes for dealing with the past and/or truth recovery Structures Remembering

• • • •

Definition of victims and survivors Who is a victim? This issue frequently emerges as a thorny issue in political debates, and is one that despite legislation seems the most intractable. CRC currently supports the current definition as set out in the Victims and Survivors (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 as someone who has been physically or psychologically injured as a result of a conflict-related incident; """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
18

CRC Submission to the Consultative Group on the Past 2008; http://www.communityrelations.org.uk/fs/doc/Response%20to%20Consultative%20Group%20on%20the%20Past%20%2025%20Jan%2008.doc

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someone who provides a substantial amount of care on a regular basis for a person who has been physically or psychologically injured as a result of a conflict-related incident; and someone who has been bereaved as a result of a conflict-related incident. This lack of political consensus is unsettling. CRC is aware that the Commission for Victims and Survivors have a number of forums with membership from the victims and survivors community. These groups discuss a range of issues and it would be proper that those engaged in the talks hear from this membership on this divisive issue. Processes for dealing with the past and/or truth recovery CRC believes that “dealing with the past is a process rather than an event and therefore should be supervised by a commission” and our response to the Consultative Group on the Past recommended that any commission should be independent of government in order to ensure the credibility of the process based on the universal principles of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Our response also reflected on HTR’s five options for dealing with the past19 which are outlined below. 1. “Drawing a Line Under the Past” (essentially do nothing new) 2. Internal Organisational Investigations 3. Community-Based “Bottom-Up” Truth Recovery 4. A Truth-Recovery Commission 5. A Commission of Historical Clarification CRC has advocated a combination of options three and five which included ‘bottom-up’ local initiatives such as story-telling by victims allied to a ‘top-down’ Commission of Historical Clarification. This Commission would focus on the broad sweep of the ‘troubles’ identifying the differentiated responsibilities of a range of social actors with a view to preventing a recurrence of large-scale violence in the future. CRC also asserted that a ‘victim-centred’ approach, stemming from (option three) the Community – Based “Bottom- Up” Truth Recovery, would allow stories to be told in public, """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
19

Kieran McEvoy, Making Peace with the Past: Options for Truth Recovery regarding the Conflict in and about Northern Ireland (Belfast: Healing Through Remembering, 2006, www.healingthroughremembering.org/images/pdf/Making%20Peace%20with%20the%20Past.pdf)

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with appropriate counselling and support. This was preferred over (option four) a Truth Recovery Commission as it “would suppress and restrict other valuable processes to be pursued.” In relation to Public Inquiries CRC noted its concern about the proposal that there should be no more public inquiries, pointing out that the opportunity to find out the facts about what happened to a loved one is profoundly important. CRC felt that disallowing public inquiries was too absolute and would close this avenue for families wishing to pursue this approach – CRC believe this should remain an option. CRC recommended that rather than concluding that public inquiries should cease, the report should instead have made recommendations on how to manage future inquiries. The Council also stated that the work of the Historical Enquiries Team and the Police Ombudsman should continue as vehicles to attaining truth and justice20 and the importance of supporting mechanisms to continue to bring closure (the recent report on the HET has raised issues which need to be addressed). In relation to a proposed reconciliation forum a qualified welcome was made, though it was noted that there was a potential risk of duplication and with this a need for clarity regarding the role of the Commissioners for Victims and Survivors and the relationship between the proposed Reconciliation Forum and that of the now established Victims Forum. The overarching issue here is that whatever proposals are forthcoming from this current initiative, there is a need to consider the work of other stakeholders. Wider Society This next section examines the issues that could have a positive impact on wider society and support civic society to deal with the past.

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20

CRC’s response to the NIO Dealing with the Past Committee http://www.community-

relations.org.uk/fs/doc/NIODealPast2009.pdf )

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Remembering With regard to the critical and topical question of how we remember, CRC’s and Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) ‘Remembering the Future’21 discussion paper makes a significant contribution to this discussion. It indicates a number of components that could help frame how we might approach this issue in an ethical and sensitive manner: We should approach anniversaries as an important opportunity to develop our understanding of how such events could be marked in the public space. • The principles that underpin this should aim for deepening understanding and respect as well as a welcome for difference, complexity and debate. • We should acknowledge that these centenaries are significant for all of us in different ways, but also that the way in which we remember and mark them is not only remembering ‘then’, but defining us ‘now’. • We should recognise the importance of work within communities and initiatives which provide opportunities for communities and groups to reflect on and address issues of identity within a safe space and the value of promoting many particular contributions to the public realm. • Cultural displays should occur in the context of civil and political liberties and in accordance with international human rights norms. • The possibility of remembering ethically and in a global context should not be overlooked. This discussion paper is aligned to the Council of Europe’s “White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue” (2008)22 which suggests that civic participation and dialogue are vital elements in any healthy inter-cultural dialogue, and enables us to move forward together, to deal with our different identities constructively and democratically on the basis of shared universal values. The white paper states that “we also need to be mindful and provide opportunities to include different perspectives and those that reflect the increased diversity in the population”, and also highlights the need to recognise plurality and responsibility in remembrance or commemoration in public space and to promote greater understanding of the complexity and interest of complicated identities.

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http://www.communityrelations.org.uk/fs/doc/Remembering%20the%20future%20discussion%20paper.pdf 22 http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/intercultural/source/white%20paper_final_revised_en.pdf
21

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Day of Reflection CRC has also made a number of recommendations in relation to more societal based processes and mechanisms for remembering the past. These included support for Healing through Remembering’s (HTR) Public Day of Reflection. This original private day has become more public and whilst it has not received official status, it would be useful to discuss how this day could be developed further. In discussing this it is important to ensure it remains ‘inclusive and sensitive’ and that no one feels obliged to take part. Memorials In relation to memorials CRC has advocated that there should be a regional societal memorial to mark the ‘troubles’, and that localised memorials should be framed in the context of promoting shared space. Understanding Plural Voices Enabling a conversation about the past is critical. CRC feels that museums have a central role in supporting this approach. CRC’s response to DCAL’s Draft Museum (2010)23 highlighted the role museums have in generating pluralist and reasoned debate about the region’s past - ‘museums have the vital task of reflecting and reframing debates on key issues and events, through demonstrating a commitment to plural voices, encouraging active engagement with the stories and experiences of self and of others, and providing an open, safe and shared context within which that discussion can be validated in the public realm’. Young People Finally, research supported by CRC showed that there was an unsatisfied appetite among young people for understanding the ‘troubles’ as such, as this period was seen as more immediate to their lives and not simply history’.24 The research urged that there was a focus

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23 24

DCAL—Draft Museums Policy’, at www.community-relations.org.uk/about’-the-council/backgroundinfo/policy-and-development/responses/2010. John Bell, Ulf Hansson and Nick McCaffery, The Troubles Aren’t History Yet: Young People’s Understanding of the Past (Belfast: CRC, 2010),

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on ensuring the young people could ‘hear the perspective of the ‘other’ through historical narratives about the recent past.25 CRC – Support and Intervention In addition to contributing to the policy analysis and discourse, CRC has played a significant role as a funding and development body, which has developed significant knowledge, understanding, skills and experience at an organisational level.

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25

Ibid, 100

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Funding From 2002 – 2012 CRC acted as an Intermediate Funding Body for Victims and Survivors Groups through OFMdFM funding (to groups working with victims and survivors) and more recently managed Peace III funding stream 1.2 Acknowledging and Dealing with the Past which encourages dialogue and participation through the sharing of practice, events, conferences and seminars. This funding role has given the CRC members and staff great awareness of the sensitivities and extreme difficulties associated with addressing the legacy of the past both in relation to definition, approach, policy, and supporting initiatives. Research CRC has commissioned relevant research. A 2006 report entitled “Who Cares for the Carers? (CRC 2006) highlighted the isolation and loneliness felt by carers (identified by groups working with victims and survivors). Other findings in the report revealed that carers involved in the study displayed high levels of burn out and stress; levels of emotional exhaustion were found to be 43% higher than the threshold for high burn out, and financial difficulties for both carer and victim and physical difficulties regarding mobility for those caring for injured/disabled. Furthermore, a 2010 independent review of CRC’s Victims and Survivors Funding was used to inform the Commission for Victims and Survivors NI’s Comprehensive Needs Analysis (CVSNI). Notable in the findings was that mental health and well-being services were significantly higher in cost than other services and the wide spread need for respite support and befriending services. CRC was also been represented on the pilot Victims Forum and Forum Transition Group. Commemoration In addition to this CRC and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) from late 2010 began to work in partnership in order to stimulate a conversation which sought to raise the issue of remembering in public space and to promote a process that leads to the development of practice models and principles. The collaboration agreed a set of principles in relation to commemoration: &!" "

1. Start from the historical facts; 2. Recognise the implications and consequences of what happened; 3. Understand that different perceptions and interpretations exist; and 4. Show how events and activities can deepen understanding of the period. All to be seen in the context of an ‘inclusive and accepting society’ CRC and HLF continue to promote discussion and proactive engagement that include community based approaches and an emphasis on: • • Promoting collaborations Uncovering the hidden stories, the “quirks” and “what ifs” of history to provide a more complete understanding • • • • • • • • • Engaging young people Recording stories Broad circulation and access Capacity building work Local exploration of people and places Creative methods Uncovering local history - creating resources Lectures, dialogue, safe and open spaces for cross identity work Individual exploration of our complex identity (in the manner of “Who do we think we are?”). CRC and HLF support a broad and inclusive approach to commemoration ! ! ! ! ! ! from the local (of people and places) , to the international (Empire, war, migration),and the modern (protecting minorities, why people migrate, identity, war and solidarity). Promoting inclusive discussion, dialogue in exploring history and identity Ethical-Forward looking – what shape society? Practising how to mark anniversaries in public space as we approach the 50th anniversaries of the recent conflict

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Overall, the focus of joint work for CRC and HLF for 2012-2013 broadly involves working at the sub regional level, disseminating the resources utilising the networks of both HLF and CRC to create synergies on the ground, with a particular focus on young people.

Conclusion CRC has and will continue to play an active role in discussions about dealing with the legacy of the past. Based on a strong track record of engagement in strategic partnerships and supporting the work of groups on the ground and individuals engaged in addressing legacy of the past issues. CRC continues to be involved in developing and implementing a programme of work that acknowledges the significance of commemoration, as well as supporting projects aimed at marking anniversaries in public space. This work has been initiated at both a strategic and a local level. Our experience suggests that it is time for a collective, inclusive and cost effective approach.

1

CRC’s principles and values The CRC is founded on the following values and principles: Equity and Equality: CRC is committed to fair treatment for all, through open access to resources, structures and decision-making processes at all levels of society, as an essential basis for good community relations. Human Rights: The CRC is committed to upholding the human rights of all as a fundamental basis for good community relations. Diversity: CRC is committed to the promotion of inter-cultural respect and freedom of expression and movement (whether expressed through religious, ethnic or political background) and supports the peaceful expression of variety and difference. Interdependence: CRC recognises and affirms the interconnectedness of the personal and community experiences of all those living and working in Northern Ireland. CRC exists to promote good relations based on trust, respect and inclusion. Non-violence: CRC recognises non-violence as an essential condition for the growth of trust, dialogue and conflict transformation. Openness, Transparency and Accountability: As a provider of public services, CRC will uphold this principle in all its work. All of our work is conducted on the basis of these values &$" "

Annex 4 Examples of CRC’s work and achievements over recent years

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a) The development of a sustained and vibrant regional infrastructure for community and good relations work across the region through OFMDFM core funding, PEACE II, PEACE III and IFI Community Bridges Programme is recognized as being of world class. This includes the development of capabilities and key skills such as mediation, training, public dialogue and work with public institutions. CRC has also shaped the development of community relations work in key thematic areas such as the workplace, sport and churches. CRC has taken a keen interest in ensuring that this work builds on the enthusiasm of a variety of constituencies, including young people and women. CRC has invested in volunteer and residential capacity as well as community relations work in the most contested areas, such as interfaces, and in local areas across the towns and cities of Northern Ireland and beyond. It also includes the development of CRC as a leading agent for the support and development of cross-border peace building in Ireland. b) The establishment, support and development of a dense network of interface peace projects across Belfast including programme, practical support and innovation. Practically all of this work has been undertaken through schemes managed by CRC. This has become the core for inter-community dialogue in the most contested areas of the city and beyond and a vital resource for stability. c) Development of innovative community projects which have become exemplars of best practice in community relations and the base for wider initiatives- e.g. Springfarm Shared Neighbourhood Programme, Hazelwood Partnership, Rural Enablers Programme. d) Development and co-ordination of statutory-voluntary partnerships to tackle the most difficult residual issues in peace building: the Interface Community Partners Group and the Beyond Belfast project into rural segregation and acting as a key partner in the Department of Justice led Interagency Group. e) The sensitive and professional development of systematic and inclusive advocacy and service delivery structure by victims for victims of the conflict. f) Development of important services for victims and survivors such as volunteer befriending, caring and respite for carers and engaging victims in the most sensitive complex issue of peacebuilding and a shared future

g) Support and development for the establishment of 14 local PEACE Partnerships covering all of Northern Ireland and the 6 Border counties. (in consortium with Pobal) h) One of the most innovative, creative and responsive small grants programme for community relations, cultural diversity and emergency response in Northern Ireland. i) Co-operative institutional partnership on critical issues such as Re-Imaging Communities, Creating Common Ground, Shared Neighbourhood Scheme, Good Relations Forum, Shared Education Programme, North Belfast Community Action Unit and Belfast City Council Good Relations Unit. Systematic policy response to shared future, community relations and cultural diversity issues.

j)

k) Participation in reviews of some of the most difficult topics e.g. the Ashdown Review on Parading, the Crumlin Road Gaol/Girdwood Advisory Panel and the Sentence Review Commission. &&" "

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Establishment of broad public platforms for a shared future and against hate crime, such as Community Relations Week, Unite Against Hate and the One Small Step campaign

m) Practical and intellectual support for community relations work and policy. n) Establishment of Shared Space Research journal. o) Numerous research publications on key topics such as interfaces, education, young people, planning and shared space and the embeddedness of sectarianism. p) Public conferences on key themes including parades and protests; legacy of the past; flags and emblems; cohesion, sharing and Integration, the regeneration of interfaces; business and economic development, young people and a shared future; sustainability in community relations work and the future of victims and survivors work. q) Training events ranging from support for financial and programme management, evaluation and monitoring, to sectarianism and racism. r) Seminars on key research and core themes such as shared space, housing, education, cohesion arts and community relations, and the work of key thinkers on peace building. s) Annual Community Relations Week which includes the annual Policy Conference and Community Relations Award. t) 5 Practitioners forums per annum.

u) Public challenge, newspaper and journal articles and advocacy across Northern Ireland and the border region. v) International learning support through the AMBIT programme and the Outward and Forward-looking Region programme of EU PEACE II extension. w) Advice to government departments on numerous issues of inter-community concern including Ministerial working group on North Belfast, Flags Protocol Monitoring Group, North Belfast Community Action Group, Good Relations Panel, DE Shared Future Advisory group, DoE Migration Advisory group, DSD, BRO, DCAL and numerous District Councils. x) Establishment of the Rowntree Peace Monitoring Report Monitoring project on the progress of peace (copies enclosed). "

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Research The Community Relations Council has commissioned research, published and highlighted other’s research. The following is an example of this work. General Community Relations Council (2011), Towards a Shared Society, Community Relations Council. Community Relations Council (2008), What Made Now in Northern Ireland, Community Relations Council. Flags Noelle Donnell (2009), Flags & Emblems - Fields, Flags and future sharing: an overview of the rural perspective of community relations, Shared Space Issue 7, Community Relations Council. Dominic Bryan, Clifford Stevenson & Gordon Gillespie (2007), Flagging Identities: assessing the display and regulation of political symbols across Northern Ireland in 2006, Shared Space Issue 4, Community Relations Council. Clem McCartney & Lucy Bryson, Flying the Flag. A Report on the Use of Flags, Anthems and other National Symbols in Northern Ireland, Community Relations Council. Parades Neil Jarman & Geraldine Scullion (2013), Protecting Rights or Limiting Disorder? Freedom of Assembly and the Right to Protest, Shared Space Issue 15, Community Relations Council. Neil Jarman, John Bell & Mary-Kathryn Rallings (2009), Dialogue or Disengagment? Responding to Disputes over Parades, Shared Space Issue 8, Community Relations Council. John Bell (2007), Parades & Protests An Annotated Bibliography, Institute for Conflict Research. Dominic Bryan & Neil Jarman (1999), Independent Intervention, Democratic Dialogue & Community Development Centre, North Belfast. Springfield Inter-Community Development Project (1998), Report of a Series of Seminars organised by Springfield Inter-Community Development Project, Interface Issues-Tackling Anti Social Behaviour-Marching and Rights; Community Relations Council. Tom Hadden & Anne Donnelly (1997), The Legal Control of marches in Northern Ireland, Community Relations Council. Dominic Bryan & Neil Jarman (1997), Parading Tradition, Protesting Triumphalism: Utilising Anthropology in Public Policy, The Institute of Irish Studies, QUB.

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Neil Jarman (1997), Material Conflicts-Parades and Visual Displays in Northern Ireland, BERG. Dealing with the past Community Relations Council (2013), Remembering the Future, Understanding our Past, Shaping our Future, NICRC and Heritage Lottery Fund. Community Relations Council (2013), Decades of Anniversaries – Toolkit, NICRC and Heritage Lottery Fund. Neil Jarman (2012), ‘Hope and History: Looking Backwards to Move Forward’, Shared Space Issue 14, Community Relations Council. Máire Braniff (2012), ‘After Agreement: The Challenges of Implementing Peace’, Shared Space Issue 14, Community Relations Council. John Bell (2012), ‘The Dynamics of Religious Difference in Contemporary Northern Ireland’, Shared Space Issue 14, Community Relations Council. Laura Fowler Graham (2012), ‘Northern Ireland’s approaches to Social Cohesion: A case study of social capital in victim support groups’, Shared Space Issue 14, Community Relations Council. Thomas G Fraser (2012), ‘Historical Legacies and the Northern Ireland Peace Process: Issues of Commemoration and Memorialisation’, Shared Space Issue 12, Community Relations Council. Nick McCaffery and Ulf Hansson (2011), ‘The Troubles Aren’t History Yet: Young People’s Understanding of the Past’, Shared Space Issue 11, Community Relations Council. South East Fermanagh Foundation (2011), An Evaluation of The Effectiveness of Complementary Therapies on Trauma Related Illnesses. John Bell, Ulf Hansson and Nick McCaffery (2010), The Troubles Aren’t History Yet: Young People’s Understanding of the Past, Community Relations Council. Mick Byers (2009), Pandora’s Box? Engaging with our pasts: Initial explorations from the victims sector and republican community, Shared Space Issue 8, Community Relations Council. Katy Radford and Sarah Templer (2008), ‘Women and Relationships: Experiences from the ‘victims’ sector’ in Shared Space Issue 6, Community Relations Council. Patricia Lundy and Mark McGovern (2008), ‘Attitudes towards a Truth Commission for Northern Ireland’ in A Sustainable Peace?, Community Relations Council. Patricia Lundy and Mark McGovern (2008), ‘Community, Truth-Recovery and Conflict Transformation ‘From Below’’ in A Sustainable Peace?, Community Relations Council. Sara Templer and Katy Radford (2007/08), Hearing the Voices - Sharing Perspectives in the Victim/Survivor Section, Community Relations Council. &)" "

Patricia Lundy and Mark McGovern (2006), Attitudes towards a Truth Commission for Northern Ireland – Research Report, Community Relations Council. Katy Radford (2006), ‘From Major to Minor – The Therapeutic Role of Music in Northern Ireland’s Victim/Survivor Sector’ in Shared Space (Nov 2006) Issue 6, Community Relations Council. Patricia Lundy and Mark McGovern (2005), ‘Community-based Approaches to Post-Conflict ‘Truth-telling’: Strengths and Limitations’ in Shared Space Issue 1, Community Relations Council. Jane Leonard (1997), Memorials to the Casualties of Conflict, Northern Ireland 1969 to 1997, Community Relations Council. Gordon Lucy and Elaine McClure (eds) (1997), Remembrance, Ulster Society (Publications) Ltd. "

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