Petition of Right
The Petition of Right is a major English constitutional document that sets out specific liberties of the subject that the king is prohibited from infringing. Passed on 7 June 1628, the Petition contains restrictions on non-Parliamentary taxation, forced billeting of soldiers, imprisonment without cause, the use of martial law. Following disputes between Parliament and King Charles I over the execution of the Thirty Years' War, Parliament refused to grant subsidies to support the war effort, leading to Charles gathering "forced loans" without Parliamentary approval and arbitrarily imprisoning those who refused to pay. Moreover, the war footing of the nation led to the forced billeting of soldiers within the homes of private citizens, the declaration of martial law over large swathes of the country. In response, the House of Commons prepared a set of four Resolutions, decrying these actions and restating the validity of Magna Carta and the legal requirement of habeas corpus; these were rejected by Charles, who announced that Parliament would be dissolved.
Accordingly, a committee under Sir Edward Coke drafted such a petition, it was passed by the Commons on 8 May and sent to the House of Lords. After three weeks of debates and conferences between the two chambers, the Petition of Right was ratified by both houses on the 26th and 27 May. Following additional debates in which the King restricted the right of the Commons to speak, he bowed to the pressure. Unhappy with the method chosen, both houses joined together and demanded the King ratify the Petition, which he did on 7 June. Despite debates over its legal status, the Petition of Right was influential. Domestically, the Petition is seen as "one of England's most famous constitutional documents", of equal value to the Magna Carta and Bill of Rights 1689. In a period in which Charles's main protection from the Commons was the House of Lords, the willingness of both chambers to work together marked a new stage in the constitutional crisis that would lead to the English Civil War; the Petition remains in force in the United Kingdom and, thanks to Imperial legislation, many parts of the Commonwealth of Nations including Australia and New Zealand.
Internationally, it helped influence the Massachusetts Body of Liberties, is seen as a predecessor to the Third, Fifth and Seventh amendments to the Constitution of the United States. On 27 March 1625, King James I of England died, was succeeded by his son, who became Charles I. Along with the throne, Charles inherited the Thirty Years' War, in which Christian IV of Denmark and Frederick V, Elector Palatine, married to Charles's sister Elizabeth, were attempting to take back their hereditary lands and titles from the Habsburg Monarchy. James had caused significant financial problems with his attempts to support Christian and Frederick, it was expected that Charles would be more amenable to prosecuting the war responsibly. After he summoned a new Parliament to meet in April 1625, it became clear; the House of Commons refused, instead passed two bills granting him only £112,000. In addition, rather than renewing the customs due from Tonnage and Poundage for the entire life of the monarch, traditional, the Commons only voted them in for one year.
Because of this, the House of Lords rejected the bill, leaving Charles without any money to provide for the war effort. Displeased with this, Charles adjourned it on 11 July, but finding himself in need of money recalled the Members on 1 August, when they met in Oxford. Not only did the Commons continue to refuse to provide money, led by Robert Phelips and Sir Edward Coke they began investigating the Duke of Buckingham. Buckingham, Charles's favourite, was in charge of prosecuting the war, with it going badly the Commons inquired into Buckingham's use of previous grants, various controversies within the admiralty; this was a pretext to impeachment, Charles reacted by dissolving Parliament less than two weeks on 12 August. By 1627, with England still at war, Charles decided to raise "forced loans". Anyone who refused to pay would be imprisoned without trial, if they resisted, sent before the Privy Council. Although the judiciary refused to endorse these loans, they succumbed to pressure after the Chief Justice of the King's Bench, Sir Randolph Crewe, was dismissed.
For refusing to contribute to the forced loan, over 70 gentlemen were arbitrarily jailed, without trial or charges brought against them. Five of them, Sir Thomas Darnell, Sir John Corbet, Sir Walter Erle, Sir John Heveningham and Sir Edmund Hampden, attempted to gain their freedom, petitioning the Court of King's Bench for a writ of habeas corpus; these were awarded on 3 November 1627, with the court ordering the bailiffs to present these prisoners to the King's Bench for examination by 8 November. None of the prisoners were presented, because the bailiffs were unable to determine what they were charged with; this led to the Five Knights' Case, known as Darnell's Case. Darnell, unnerved by the situation, ceased pursuing his freedom, the other four secured writs instead, represented by John Bramston, Henry Calthorp and John Selden; the judges denied the defendants bail, concluding that if no charges had been brought, "the could not be freed as the offence was too dangerous for public discussion".
Kingdom of Great Britain
The Kingdom of Great Britain called Great Britain, was a sovereign state in western Europe from 1 May 1707 to 31 December 1800. The state came into being following the Treaty of Union in 1706, ratified by the Acts of Union 1707, which united the kingdoms of England and Scotland to form a single kingdom encompassing the whole island of Great Britain and its outlying islands, with the exception of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands; the unitary state was governed by a single parliament and government, based in Westminster. The former kingdoms had been in personal union since James VI of Scotland became King of England and King of Ireland in 1603 following the death of Elizabeth I, bringing about the "Union of the Crowns". After the accession of George I to the throne of Great Britain in 1714, the kingdom was in a personal union with the Electorate of Hanover; the early years of the unified kingdom were marked by Jacobite risings which ended in defeat for the Stuart cause at Culloden in 1746.
In 1763, victory in the Seven Years' War led to the dominance of the British Empire, to become the foremost global power for over a century and grew to become the largest empire in history. The Kingdom of Great Britain was replaced by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on 1 January 1801 with the Acts of Union 1800; the name Britain descends from the Latin name for the island of Great Britain, Britannia or Brittānia, the land of the Britons via the Old French Bretaigne and Middle English Bretayne, Breteyne. The term Great Britain was first used in 1474; the use of the word "Great" before "Britain" originates in the French language, which uses Bretagne for both Britain and Brittany. French therefore distinguishes between the two by calling Britain la Grande Bretagne, a distinction, transferred into English; the Treaty of Union and the subsequent Acts of Union state that England and Scotland were to be "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain", as such "Great Britain" was the official name of the state, as well as being used in titles such as "Parliament of Great Britain".
Both the Acts and the Treaty describe the country as "One Kingdom" and a "United Kingdom", which has led some much publications into the error of treating the "United Kingdom" as a name before it came into being in 1801. The websites of the Scottish Parliament, the BBC, others, including the Historical Association, refer to the state created on 1 May 1707 as the United Kingdom of Great Britain; the term United Kingdom was sometimes used during the 18th century to describe the state, but was not its name. The kingdoms of England and Scotland, both in existence from the 9th century, were separate states until 1707. However, they had come into a personal union in 1603, when James VI of Scotland became king of England under the name of James I; this Union of the Crowns under the House of Stuart meant that the whole of the island of Great Britain was now ruled by a single monarch, who by virtue of holding the English crown ruled over the Kingdom of Ireland. Each of the three kingdoms maintained laws.
Various smaller islands were in the king's domain, including the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. This disposition changed when the Acts of Union 1707 came into force, with a single unified Crown of Great Britain and a single unified parliament. Ireland remained formally separate, with its own parliament, until the Acts of Union 1800; the Union of 1707 provided for a Protestant-only succession to the throne in accordance with the English Act of Settlement of 1701. The Act of Settlement required that the heir to the English throne be a descendant of the Electress Sophia of Hanover and not be a Catholic. Legislative power was vested in the Parliament of Great Britain, which replaced both the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland. In practice it was a continuation of the English parliament, sitting at the same location in Westminster, expanded to include representation from Scotland; as with the former Parliament of England and the modern Parliament of the United Kingdom, the Parliament of Great Britain was formally constituted of three elements: the House of Commons, the House of Lords, the Crown.
The right of the English peerage to sit in the House of Lords remained unchanged, while the disproportionately large Scottish peerage was permitted to send only 16 representative peers, elected from amongst their number for the life of each parliament. The members of the former English House of Commons continued as members of the British House of Commons, but as a reflection of the relative tax bases of the two countries the number of Scottish representatives was reduced to 45. Newly created peers in the Peerage of Great Britain were given the automatic right to sit in the Lords. Despite the end of a separate parliament for Scotland, it retained its own laws and system of courts, As its own established Presbyterian Church, control over its own schools; the social structure was hierarchical, the same elite remain in control after 1707. Scotland continued to have its own excellent universities, with the strong intellectual community in Edinburgh, The Scottish Enlightenment had a major impact on British and European thinking.
As a result of Poynings' Law of 1495, the Parliament of Ireland was subordinate to the Parliament of England, after 1707 to the Parliament of Great Britain. The Westminster parliament's Declaratory Act 1719 (also called the Dependency of Ireland
Bill of Rights 1689
The Bill of Rights known as the English Bill of Rights, is an Act of the Parliament of England that sets out certain basic civil rights and clarifies who would be next to inherit the Crown. It received the Royal Assent on 16 December 1689 and is a restatement in statutory form of the Declaration of Right presented by the Convention Parliament to William III and Mary II in February 1689, inviting them to become joint sovereigns of England; the Bill of Rights lays down limits on the powers of the monarch and sets out the rights of Parliament, including the requirement for regular parliaments, free elections, freedom of speech in Parliament. It sets out certain rights of individuals including the prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment and reestablished the right of Protestants to have arms for their defence within the rule of law. Furthermore, the Bill of Rights condemned several misdeeds of James II of England; these ideas reflected those of the political thinker John Locke and they became popular in England.
It sets out – or, in the view of its drafters, restates – certain constitutional requirements of the Crown to seek the consent of the people, as represented in Parliament. In the United Kingdom, the Bill of Rights is further accompanied by Magna Carta, the Petition of Right, the Habeas Corpus Act 1679 and the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949 as some of the basic documents of the uncodified British constitution. A separate but similar document, the Claim of Right Act 1689, applies in Scotland; the Bill of Rights 1689 was one of the inspirations for the United States Bill of Rights. Along with the Act of Settlement 1701, the Bill of Rights is still in effect in all Commonwealth realms. Following the Perth Agreement in 2011, legislation amending both of them came into effect across the Commonwealth realms on 26 March 2015. During the 17th century, there was renewed interest in Magna Carta; the Parliament of England passed the Petition of Right in 1628 which established certain liberties for subjects.
The English Civil War was fought between the King and an oligarchic but elected Parliament, during which the idea of a political party took form with groups debating rights to political representation during the Putney Debates of 1647. Subsequently, the Protectorate and the English Restoration restored more autocratic rule although Parliament passed the Habeas Corpus Act in 1679, which strengthened the convention that forbade detention lacking sufficient cause or evidence. Objecting to the policies of King James II of England, a group of English Parliamentarians invited the Dutch stadtholder William III of Orange-Nassau to overthrow the King. William's successful invasion with a Dutch fleet and army led to James fleeing to France. In December 1688, William took over the provisional government by appointment of the peers of the realm, as was the legal right of the latter in circumstances when the King was incapacitated, summoned an assembly of certain members of parliament; this assembly called for an English Convention Parliament to be elected, which convened on 22 January 1689.
The proposal to draw up a statement of rights and liberties and James's violation of them was first made on 29 January 1689 in the House of Commons, with members arguing that the House "cannot answer it to the nation or Prince of Orange till we declare what are the rights invaded" and that William "cannot take it ill if we make conditions to secure ourselves for the future" in order to "do justice to those who sent us hither". On 2 February a committee specially convened reported to the Commons 23 Heads of Grievances, which the Commons approved and added some of their own. However, on 4 February the Commons decided to instruct the committee to differentiate between "such of the general heads, as are introductory of new laws, from those that are declaratory of ancient rights". On 7 February the Commons approved this revised Declaration of Right, on 8 February instructed the committee to put into a single text the Declaration, the resolution of 28 January and the Lords' proposal for a revised oath of allegiance.
It passed the Commons without division. On 13 February the clerk of the House of Lords read the Declaration of Right, the Marquess of Halifax, in the name of all the estates of the realm, asked William and Mary to accept the throne. William replied for his wife and himself: "We thankfully accept what you have offered us", they went in procession to the great gate at Whitehall. The Garter King at Arms proclaimed them King and Queen of England and Ireland, whereupon they adjourned to the Chapel Royal, with the Bishop of London preaching the sermon, they were crowned on 11 April. The Coronation Oath Act 1688 had provided a new coronation oath, whereby the monarchs were to "solemnly promise and swear to govern the people of this kingdom of England, the dominions thereunto belonging, according to the statutes in parliament agreed on, the laws and customs of the same", they were to maintain the laws of God, the true profession of the Gospel, the Protestant Reformed faith established by law. This replaced an oath.
The previous oath required the monarch to rule based on "the laws and customs... granted by the Kings of England". The Declaration of Right was enacted in an Act of Parliament, the Bill of Rights 1689, which received the Royal Assent in December 1689; the Act asserted "certain ancient rights and liberties" by declaring that: the pretended power of suspending the laws and dispensing with laws by regal authority without consent of Parliament is illegal.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was established by the Acts of Union 1800, which merged the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland. The United Kingdom, having financed the European coalition that defeated France during the Napoleonic Wars, developed a large Royal Navy that enabled the British Empire to become the foremost world power for the next century; the Crimean War with Russia and the Boer wars were small operations in a peaceful century. Rapid industrialisation that began in the decades prior to the state's formation continued up until the mid-19th century; the Great Irish Famine, exacerbated by government inaction in the mid-19th century, led to demographic collapse in much of Ireland and increased calls for Irish land reform. The 19th century was an era of rapid economic modernisation and growth of industry and finance, in which Britain dominated the world economy. Outward migration was heavy to the United States; the empire was expanded into much of South Asia. The Colonial Office and India Office ruled through a small number of administrators who managed the units of the empire locally, while democratic institutions began to develop.
British India, by far the most important overseas possession, saw a short-lived revolt in 1857. In overseas policy, the central policy was free trade, which enabled British and Irish financiers and merchants to operate in many otherwise independent countries, as in South America. London formed no permanent military alliances until the early 20th century, when it began to cooperate with Japan and Russia, moved closer to the United States. Growing desire for Irish self-governance led to the Irish War of Independence, which resulted in most of Ireland seceding from the Union and forming the Irish Free State in 1922. Northern Ireland remained part of the Union, the state was renamed to the current "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" in 1927; the modern-day United Kingdom is the same country as the one from this period—a direct continuation of what remained after the secession—not an new successor state. A brief period of limited independence for Ireland came to an end following the Irish Rebellion of 1798, which occurred during the British war with revolutionary France.
The British government's fear of an independent Ireland siding against them with the French resulted in the decision to unite the two countries. This was brought about by legislation in the parliaments of both kingdoms and came into effect on 1 January 1801; the Irish had been led to believe by the British that their loss of legislative independence would be compensated with Catholic emancipation, that is, by the removal of civil disabilities placed upon Roman Catholics in both Great Britain and Ireland. However, King George III was bitterly opposed to any such Emancipation and succeeded in defeating his government's attempts to introduce it. During the War of the Second Coalition, Britain occupied most of the French and Dutch overseas possessions, the Netherlands having become a satellite state of France in 1796, but tropical diseases claimed the lives of over 40,000 troops; when the Treaty of Amiens ended the war, Britain agreed to return most of the territories it had seized. The peace settlement was in effect only a ceasefire, Napoleon continued to provoke the British by attempting a trade embargo on the country and by occupying the city of Hanover, capital of the Electorate, a German-speaking duchy, in a personal union with the United Kingdom.
In May 1803, war was declared again. Napoleon's plans to invade Great Britain failed, chiefly due to the inferiority of his navy, in 1805 a Royal Navy fleet led by Nelson decisively defeated the French and Spanish at Trafalgar, the last significant naval action of the Napoleonic Wars. In 1806, Napoleon issued the series of Berlin Decrees, which brought into effect the Continental System; this policy aimed to eliminate the threat from the British by closing French-controlled territory to foreign trade. The British Army remained a minimal threat to France. Although the Royal Navy disrupted France's extra-continental trade—both by seizing and threatening French shipping and by seizing French colonial possessions—it could do nothing about France's trade with the major continental economies and posed little threat to French territory in Europe. France's population and agricultural capacity far outstripped that of the British Isles, but it was smaller in terms of industry, mercantile marine and naval strength.
Napoleon expected that cutting Britain off from the European mainland would end its economic hegemony. On the contrary Britain possessed the greatest industrial capacity in the world, its mastery of the seas allowed it to build up considerable economic strength through trade to its possessions and the United States; the Spanish uprising in 1808 at last permitted Britain to gain a foothold on the Continent. The Duke of Wellington pushed the French out of Spain, in early 1814, as Napoleon was being driven back in the east by the Prussians and Russians, Wellington invaded southern France. After Napoleon's surrender and exile to the island of Elba, peace appeared to have returned. Napoleon reappeared in 1815; the Allies united and the armies of Wellington and Blücher defeated Napoleon once and for all at Waterloo. To defeat France, Britain put heavy pressure on the Americans
The European Union is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located in Europe. It has an area of an estimated population of about 513 million; the EU has developed an internal single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states in those matters, only those matters, where members have agreed to act as one. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods and capital within the internal market, enact legislation in justice and home affairs and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture and regional development. For travel within the Schengen Area, passport controls have been abolished. A monetary union was established in 1999 and came into full force in 2002 and is composed of 19 EU member states which use the euro currency; the EU and European citizenship were established when the Maastricht Treaty came into force in 1993. The EU traces its origins to the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community, established by the 1951 Treaty of Paris and 1957 Treaty of Rome.
The original members of what came to be known as the European Communities were the Inner Six: Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, West Germany. The Communities and its successors have grown in size by the accession of new member states and in power by the addition of policy areas to its remit; the latest major amendment to the constitutional basis of the EU, the Treaty of Lisbon, came into force in 2009. While no member state has left the EU or its antecedent organisations, the United Kingdom signified the intention to leave after a membership referendum in June 2016 and is negotiating its withdrawal. Covering 7.3% of the world population, the EU in 2017 generated a nominal gross domestic product of 19.670 trillion US dollars, constituting 24.6% of global nominal GDP. Additionally, all 28 EU countries have a high Human Development Index, according to the United Nations Development Programme. In 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Through the Common Foreign and Security Policy, the EU has developed a role in external relations and defence.
The union maintains permanent diplomatic missions throughout the world and represents itself at the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the G7 and the G20. Because of its global influence, the European Union has been described as an emerging superpower. During the centuries following the fall of Rome in 476, several European States viewed themselves as translatio imperii of the defunct Roman Empire: the Frankish Empire and the Holy Roman Empire were thereby attempts to resurrect Rome in the West; this political philosophy of a supra-national rule over the continent, similar to the example of the ancient Roman Empire, resulted in the early Middle Ages in the concept of a renovatio imperii, either in the forms of the Reichsidee or the religiously inspired Imperium Christianum. Medieval Christendom and the political power of the Papacy are cited as conducive to European integration and unity. In the oriental parts of the continent, the Russian Tsardom, the Empire, declared Moscow to be Third Rome and inheritor of the Eastern tradition after the fall of Constantinople in 1453.
The gap between Greek East and Latin West had been widened by the political scission of the Roman Empire in the 4th century and the Great Schism of 1054. Pan-European political thought emerged during the 19th century, inspired by the liberal ideas of the French and American Revolutions after the demise of Napoléon's Empire. In the decades following the outcomes of the Congress of Vienna, ideals of European unity flourished across the continent in the writings of Wojciech Jastrzębowski, Giuseppe Mazzini or Theodore de Korwin Szymanowski; the term United States of Europe was used at that time by Victor Hugo during a speech at the International Peace Congress held in Paris in 1849: A day will come when all nations on our continent will form a European brotherhood... A day will come when we shall see... the United States of America and the United States of Europe face to face, reaching out for each other across the seas. During the interwar period, the consciousness that national markets in Europe were interdependent though confrontational, along with the observation of a larger and growing US market on the other side of the ocean, nourished the urge for the economic integration of the continent.
In 1920, advocating the creation of a European economic union, British economist John Maynard Keynes wrote that "a Free Trade Union should be established... to impose no protectionist tariffs whatever against the produce of other members of the Union." During the same decade, Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi, one of the first to imagine of a modern political union of Europe, founded the Pan-Europa Movement. His ideas influenced his contemporaries, among which Prime Minister of France Aristide Briand. In 1929, the latter gave a speech in favour of a European Union before the assembly of the League of Nations, precursor of the United Nations. In a radio address in March 1943, with war still raging, Britain's leader Sir Winston Churchill spoke warmly of "restoring the true greatness of Europe" once victory had been achieved, mused on the post-war creation of a "Council of Europe" which would bring the European nations together to build peace. After World War II, European integration was seen as an antidote to the extreme nationalism which had devastated the continent.
In a speech delivered on 19
A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority to make laws for a political entity such as a country or city. Legislatures form important parts of most governments. Laws enacted by legislatures are known as primary legislation. Legislatures observe and steer governing actions and have exclusive authority to amend the budget or budgets involved in the process; the members of a legislature are called legislators. In a democracy, legislators are most popularly elected, although indirect election and appointment by the executive are used for bicameral legislatures featuring an upper chamber. Names for national legislatures include "parliament", "congress", "diet", "assembly", depending on country; each chamber of the legislature consists of a number of legislators who use some form of parliamentary procedure to debate political issues and vote on proposed legislation. There must be a certain number of legislators present to carry out these activities; some of the responsibilities of a legislature, such as giving first consideration to newly proposed legislation, are delegated to committees made up of a few of the members of the chamber.
The members of a legislature represent different political parties. Legislatures vary in the amount of political power they wield, compared to other political players such as judiciaries and executives. In 2009, political scientists M. Steven Fish and Matthew Kroenig constructed a Parliamentary Powers Index in an attempt to quantify the different degrees of power among national legislatures; the German Bundestag, the Italian Parliament, the Mongolian State Great Khural tied for most powerful, while Myanmar's House of Representatives and Somalia's Transitional Federal Assembly tied for least powerful. Some political systems follow the principle of legislative supremacy, which holds that the legislature is the supreme branch of government and cannot be bound by other institutions, such as the judicial branch or a written constitution; such a system renders the legislature more powerful. In parliamentary and semi-presidential systems of government, the executive is responsible to the legislature, which may remove it with a vote of no confidence.
On the other hand, according to the separation of powers doctrine, the legislature in a presidential system is considered an independent and coequal branch of government along with both the judiciary and the executive. Legislatures will sometimes delegate their legislative power to administrative or executive agencies. Legislatures are made up of individual members, known as legislators. A legislature contains a fixed number of legislators. For example, a legislature that has 100 "seats" has 100 members. By extension, an electoral district that elects a single legislator can be described as a "seat", as, example, in the phrases "safe seat" and "marginal seat". A legislature may debate and vote upon bills as a single unit, or it may be composed of multiple separate assemblies, called by various names including legislative chambers, debate chambers, houses, which debate and vote separately and have distinct powers. A legislature which operates as a single unit is unicameral, one divided into two chambers is bicameral, one divided into three chambers is tricameral.
In bicameral legislatures, one chamber is considered the upper house, while the other is considered the lower house. The two types are not rigidly different, but members of upper houses tend to be indirectly elected or appointed rather than directly elected, tend to be allocated by administrative divisions rather than by population, tend to have longer terms than members of the lower house. In some systems parliamentary systems, the upper house has less power and tends to have a more advisory role, but in others presidential systems, the upper house has equal or greater power. In federations, the upper house represents the federation's component states; this is a case with the supranational legislature of the European Union. The upper house may either contain the delegates of state governments – as in the European Union and in Germany and, before 1913, in the United States – or be elected according to a formula that grants equal representation to states with smaller populations, as is the case in Australia and the United States since 1913.
Tricameral legislatures are rare. Tetracameral legislatures no longer exist, but they were used in Scandinavia. Legislatures vary in their size. Among national legislatures, China's National People's Congress is the largest with 2 980 members, while Vatican City's Pontifical Commission is the smallest with 7. Neither legislature is democratically elected: the National People's Congress is indirectly elected. Legislature size is a trade off between representation. Comparative analysis of national legislatures has found that size of a country's lower house tends to be proportional to the cube root of its population.
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, informally known as the Northern Ireland Secretary, is the principal secretary of state in Her Majesty's Government with responsibilities for Northern Ireland. The Secretary of State is a Minister of the Crown, accountable to the Parliament of the United Kingdom and is the chief minister in the Northern Ireland Office; as with other ministers, the position is appointed by the British monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister. The position is described as'the Secretary of State' by residents of Northern Ireland. Holding a large portfolio over home affairs in Northern Ireland, the current devolution settlement has lessened the Secretary of State's role, granting many of the former powers to the Northern Ireland Assembly and Northern Ireland Executive; the Secretary of State is now limited to representing Northern Ireland in the UK cabinet, overseeing the operation of the devolved administration and a number of reserved and excepted matters which remain the sole competence of the UK Government e.g. security, human rights, certain public inquiries and the administration of elections.
Created in 1972, the position has switched between Members of Parliament from the Conservative Party and Labour Party. As Labour has not fielded candidates in Northern Ireland and the Conservatives have not had candidates elected to Northern Ireland Assembly or for House of Commons seats in the province, those appointed as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland have not represented a constituency in Northern Ireland; this contrasts with the Secretary of the Secretary of State for Wales. The Secretary of State resides in Hillsborough Castle, the official residence of the Governor of Northern Ireland, remains the royal residence of the Monarch in Northern Ireland; the Secretary of State exercises their duties through, is administratively supported by, the Northern Ireland Office. The principal ministers for Irish affairs in the UK Government and its predecessors were: the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. In August 1969, for example, Home Secretary James Callaghan approved the sending of British Army soldiers to Northern Ireland.
Scotland and Wales were represented by the Secretary of State for Scotland and Secretary of State for Wales from 1885 and 1965 but Northern Ireland remained separate, due to the devolved Northern Ireland Government and Northern Ireland Parliament. The office of Secretary of State for Northern Ireland was created after the Northern Ireland government was first suspended and abolished following widespread civil strife; the British government was concerned that Stormont was losing control of the situation. On 30 March 1972, direct rule from Westminster was introduced; the Secretary of State filled three roles which existed under the previous Stormont regime: the Governor of Northern Ireland the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland the Minister of Home Affairs. Direct rule was seen as a temporary measure, with a power-sharing devolution preferred as the solution, was annually renewed by a vote in Parliament; the Sunningdale Agreement in 1973 resulted in a brief, power-sharing Northern Ireland Executive, from 1 January 1974, ended by the loyalist Ulster Workers' Council strike on 28 May 1974.
The strikers opposed the all-Ireland aspects of the new administration. The Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention and Northern Ireland Assembly were unsuccessful in restoring devolved government. After the Anglo-Irish Agreement on 15 November 1985, the UK Government and Irish Government co-operated more on security and political matters. Following the Belfast Agreement on 10 April 1998, devolution returned to Northern Ireland on 2 December 1999; this removed many of the duties of the Secretary of State and his Northern Ireland Office colleagues and devolved them to locally elected politicians, constituting the Northern Ireland Executive. The devolved administration was suspended several times because the Ulster Unionist Party and Democratic Unionist Party were uncomfortable being in government with Sinn Féin when the Provisional Irish Republican Army had failed to decommission its arms and continued its criminal activities. On each of these occasions, the responsibilities of the ministers in the Executive returned to the Secretary of State and his ministers.
During these periods, in addition to administration of the region, the Secretary of State was heavily involved in the negotiations with all parties to restore devolved government. Power was again devolved to the Northern Ireland Assembly on 8 May 2007; the Secretary of State retained responsibility for policing and justice until most of those powers were devolved on 12 April 2010. Colour key Conservative Labour First Minister of Northern Ireland Great Seal of Northern Ireland Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Secretary of State Secretary of State for Scotland Secretary of State for Wales Chief Secretary for Ireland, office that existed until 1922