Member of the Legislative Assembly (Northern Ireland)
Members of the Legislative Assembly are representatives elected by the voters to the Northern Ireland Assembly. The Northern Ireland Assembly will have 90 elected members - five from each of 18 constituencies, the boundaries of which are the same as those used for electing members of the UK Parliament, its role is to scrutinise and make decisions on the issues dealt with by Government Departments and to consider and make legislation. MLAs are responsible for the Northern Ireland Assembly; the basic salary for an MLA is £48,000 while the Speaker and committee chairs receive an additional'Office Holders Salary' on top of their basic salary. From 22 June 1921 until 30 March 1972 MPs of the House of Commons of Northern Ireland and Senators of the Senate of Northern Ireland in the Parliament of Northern Ireland legislated for Northern Ireland like MLAs do today. Following a referendum on the Belfast Agreement on 23 May 1998 and the granting of Royal Assent to the Northern Ireland Act 1998 on 19 November 1998.
The process was known as devolution and was set up to give Northern Ireland devolved legislative powers. MLAs are responsible for the Northern Ireland Assembly; the Assembly Members Act 2016 will mean that the number of MLAs will be reduced from 108 to 90. Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly elected in 2017 Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly elected in 2016 Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly elected in 2011 Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly elected in 2007 Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly elected in 2003 Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly elected in 1998 Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly elected in 1982 Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly elected in 1973 Northern Ireland Assembly Northern Ireland Executive Member of Parliament Member of the Scottish Parliament Member of the National Assembly for Wales Northern Ireland Assembly
Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly
The Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly is the presiding officer of the Northern Ireland Assembly, elected on a cross-community vote by the Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly. A Principal Deputy Speaker and two Deputy Speakers are elected to help fulfil the role; the office of Speaker is held by DUP MLA, Robin Newton. The Office of the Speaker is located in Parliament Buildings, Belfast; the Speaker is the Chairman of the Assembly Commission, the body corporate of the Assembly, the Chairman of the Assembly Business Committee. The first person to hold the position was Lord Alderdice, appointed by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in 1998. Prior to devolution in December 1999 the position was referred to as the Initial Presiding Officer. Alderdice left office in 2004. Eileen Bell held the office of Speaker in the Assembly established under the Northern Ireland Act 2006 which met between May and October 2006 and in the Transitional Assembly established under the Northern Ireland Act 2006 which met between November 2006 and May 2007.
Under the Northern Ireland Act 2006 she was appointed Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly on 8 May 2007. One of the first items of business for the Northern Ireland Assembly on 8 May 2007 was to elect a new Speaker from the MLAs elected in March 2007; the only nominee was William Hay, DUP member for Foyle and he was elected unopposed. In May 2011 the new position of Principal Deputy Speaker was created. Sinn Féin deputy speaker Francie Molloy was subsequently elected to the new position in June 2011. During the first meeting of a new Assembly a Speaker is elected; the oldest Member of the Assembly, not seeking the appointment oversees the election as Acting Speaker. Nominees are put forward and accepted by the nominee. A vote is taken which must achieve the support of both sides of the house. A successful nominee is deemed elected as Speaker and takes the chair. Upon election the Speaker must relinquish all party political affiliations; the newly or re-elected speaker oversees the selection of three Deputy Speakers.
Speaker of the Northern Ireland House of Commons Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament Speaker of the British House of Commons Lord Speaker Ceann Comhairle Office of the Speaker
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
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
Belfast City Council
Belfast City Council is the local authority with responsibility for part of the city of Belfast, the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland. The Council serves an estimated population of 333,871, the largest of any district council in Northern Ireland, while being the fourth smallest by area. Belfast City Council is the primary council of the Belfast Metropolitan Area, a grouping of six district councils with commuter towns and overspill from Belfast, containing a total population of 579,276; the Council is made up of 60 councillors, elected from nine district electoral areas across the city, most representing the more populated north and west. It holds its meetings in the historic Belfast City Hall; the current Lord Mayor is Deirdre Hargey of Sinn Féin. As part of the 2014/2015 reform of local government the city council area expanded and now covers an area that includes 53,000 additional residents in 21,000 households; the number of councillors increased from 51 to 60. Elections to the expanded city council took place on 22 May 2014.
Belfast's modern history can be dated back to the Plantation of Ulster in the early 17th century which brought significant numbers of Protestant Scottish and English settlers to Ulster. The town developed to become a major industrial centre, in particular in the areas of linen and ship building. In recognition of this growth Belfast was granted city status in 1888 and by 1901, it was the largest city in Ireland; the city's importance was evidenced by the construction of the lavish City Hall, completed in 1906. The body now known as Belfast City Council has its origins in the defunct Belfast Corporation, was created on its current boundaries following the local council elections of May 1973, it was intended that there would be 52 wards. However, local enquiries meant that the proposed Tullycarnet ward became instead the Castlereagh Borough Council wards of Tullycarnet and Gilnahirk, leaving Belfast with 51. Although the county borough of Belfast was created when it was granted city status by Queen Victoria in 1888, the city continues to be viewed as straddling County Antrim and County Down with the River Lagan being seen as the line of demarcation.
From the late 18th century onwards, the city's Roman Catholic population increased, although the city was still dominated by its Ulster Protestant majority. The council was dominated by unionists from its inception until 1997, when they lost overall control for the first time in its history, with the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland gaining the balance of power between Irish nationalists and unionists; this position was confirmed in the three subsequent council elections, with mayors from the Irish nationalist Sinn Féin and Social Democratic and Labour Party, the cross-community Alliance Party elected since 1997. The election in 2011 saw Irish nationalist councillors outnumber unionist councillors for the first time, 24–21, with Sinn Féin becoming the largest party, the Alliance Party maintaining the balance of power with six members; the 2011 census findings confirmed this significant change in demographics. In the Belfast City Council area, the proportion of people who were Catholic or brought up Catholic is larger than those who were Protestant or brought up Protestant for the first time.
In terms of national identity 43.16% of the population considered themselves to be British, 34.77% considered themselves to be Irish, 26.82% considered themselves to be of Northern Irish nationality. The city of Belfast has the Latin motto "Pro tanto quid retribuamus." This is taken from Psalm 116 Verse 12 in the Latin Vulgate Bible and is "For so much what we shall repay" The verse has been translated in bibles differently – for example as "What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me?". It is translated as "In return for so much, what shall we give back?" The Queen's University Students' Union Rag Week publication PTQ derives its name from the first three words of the motto. The coat of arms of the city are blazoned as Party per fesse argent and azure, in chief a pile vair and on a canton gules a bell argent, in base a ship with sails set argent on waves of the sea proper; this heraldic language describes a shield, divided in two horizontally. The top of the shield is silver, has a point-down triangle with a repeating blue-and-white pattern that represents fur.
There is a red square in the top corner on which there is a silver bell. It is that the bell is an example here of "canting" heraldry, representing the first syllable of Belfast. In the lower part of the shield there is a silver sailing ship shown sailing on waves coloured in the actual colours of the sea; the supporter on the "dexter" side is a chained wolf, while on the "sinister" side the supporter is a sea-horse. The crest above the shield is a sea-horse; these arms date back to 1613. The seal was used by Belfast merchants throughout the 17th century on their trade-coins. A large stained glass window in the City Hall displays the arms, where an explanation suggests that the seahorse and the ship refer to Belfast's significant maritime history; the wolf may be a tribute to the city's founder, Sir Arthur Chichester, refer to his own coat of arms. At the latest election to Belfast City Council on 22 May 2014, the city's voters elected sixty councillors to sit in shadow form until 1 April 2015.
A number of co-options and defections have altered the composition
Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
The Supreme Court is the final court of appeal in the UK for civil cases, for criminal cases from England and Northern Ireland. It hears cases of the greatest public or constitutional importance affecting the whole population; as authorised by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, Part 3, Section 23 and s. 23, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom was formally established on 1 October 2009. It assumed the judicial functions of the House of Lords, exercised by the Lords of Appeal in Ordinary, the 12 judges appointed as members of the House of Lords to carry out its judicial business as the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords, its jurisdiction over devolution matters had been exercised by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. The current President of the Supreme Court is Baroness Hale of Richmond, its Deputy President is Lord Reed; the United Kingdom has a doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty, so the Supreme Court is much more limited in its powers of judicial review than the constitutional or supreme courts of some other countries.
It cannot overturn any primary legislation made by Parliament. However, it can overturn secondary legislation if, for example, that legislation is found to be ultra vires to the powers in primary legislation allowing it to be made. Further, under section 4 of the Human Rights Act 1998, the Supreme Court, like some other courts in the United Kingdom, may make a declaration of incompatibility, indicating that it believes that the legislation subject to the declaration is incompatible with one of the rights in the European Convention on Human Rights; such a declaration can apply to secondary legislation. The legislation is not overturned by the declaration, neither Parliament nor the government is required to agree with any such declaration. However, if they do accept a declaration, ministers can exercise powers under section 10 of the act to amend the legislation by statutory instrument to remove the incompatibility or ask Parliament to amend the legislation; the creation of a Supreme Court for the United Kingdom was first mooted in a consultation paper published by the Department of Constitutional Affairs in July 2003.
Although the paper noted that there had been no criticism of the then-current Law Lords or any indication of an actual bias, it argued that the separation of the judicial functions of the Judicial Committee of the House of Lords from the legislative functions of the House of Lords should be made explicit. The paper noted the following concerns: Whether there was any longer sufficient transparency of independence from the executive and the legislature to give assurance of the independence of the judiciary; the requirement for the appearance of impartiality and independence limited the ability of the Law Lords to contribute to the work of the House itself, thus reducing the value to both them and the House of their membership. It was not always understood by the public that judicial decisions of "the House of Lords" were in fact taken by the Judicial Committee and that non-judicial members were never involved in the judgments. Conversely, it was felt that the extent to which the Law Lords themselves had decided to refrain from getting involved in political issues in relation to legislation on which they might have had to adjudicate was not always appreciated.
The new President of the Court, Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, has claimed that the old system had confused people and that with the Supreme Court there would for the first time be a clear separation of powers among the judiciary, the legislature and the executive. Space within the House of Lords was at a constant premium and a separate supreme court would ease the pressure on the Palace of Westminster; the main argument against a new Supreme Court was that the previous system had worked well and kept costs down. Reformers expressed concern that this second main example of a mixture of the legislative and executive might conflict with professed values under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Officials who make or execute laws have an interest in court cases; when the state invests judicial authority in those officials or their day-to-day colleagues, it puts the independence and impartiality of the courts at risk. It was hypothesised connected decisions of the Law Lords to debates had by friends or on which the Lord Chancellor had expressed a view might be challenged on Human Rights grounds on the basis that they had not constituted a fair trial.
Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury President of the Supreme Court, expressed fear that the new court could make itself more powerful than the House of Lords committee it succeeded, saying that there is a real risk of "judges arrogating to themselves greater power than they have at the moment". Lord Phillips said such an outcome was "a possibility", but was "unlikely"; the reforms were controversial and were brought forward with little consultation but were subsequently extensively debated in Parliament. During 2004, a select committee of the House of Lords scrutinised the arguments for and against setting up a new court; the Government estimated the set-up cost of the Supreme Court at £56.9 million. As authorised by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, Part 3, Section 23 and s. 23, the Supreme Court was formally established on 1 October 2009. It assumed the judicial functions of the House of Lords, exercised by the Lords of Appeal in Ordinary, the 12 professional judges appointed as members of the House of Lords to carry out its judicial business.
Its jurisdiction over devolution matters had been exercised