The NORTHERN IRELAND ACT 1998 (c.47) is an Act of the Parliament of
United Kingdom which established a devolved legislature for
Northern Ireland , the
Northern Ireland Assembly , after decades of
direct rule from Westminster .
It repealed parts of the
Government of Ireland Act 1920 and Northern
Ireland Constitution Act 1973 , and established new rules in line with
European Union and the
Northern Ireland peace process , subsequent
Belfast Agreement of 1998.
The Act allows for a devolved
Northern Ireland Assembly of 108
members. Membership of the assembly is subject to a pledge of office,
which subjects the member to certain requirements with regard to
standards and responsibilities.
Northern Ireland remains a part of the
United Kingdom until or unless a majority vote in a referendum
determines otherwise. The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
holds the power to call for the referendum if appears likely to him
that a majority of the voters would express their desire to become
part of a United Ireland. The Assembly has the power of modifying any
Act of the British Parliament as far as it "is part of the law of
Northern Ireland". They cannot deal, however, with reserved or
excepted matters, which are of exclusive competence of the government
of the United Kingdom, in consultation with the Republic of Ireland
British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference . The
Assembly has been suspended a number of times since 1998, and was
re-established on Tuesday 8 May 2007, subsequent to the St Andrews
Agreement of 2006.
Election to the Assembly is by single transferable vote (STV), a form
of proportional representation .
Ireland Act 1949
* Walker, Graham. "Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Devolution,
1945–1979," Journal of British Studies Jan. 2010, Vol. 49, No. 1:
* ^ "This section does not affect the power of the Parliament of
United Kingdom to make laws for Northern Ireland, but an Act of
the Assembly may modify any provision made by or under an Act of
Parliament in so far as it is part of the law of Northern Ireland."
Northern Ireland Act 1998, Part II, Legislative Powers
* ^ Forman, F. N. :Constitutional change in the United Kingdom.
University College, London. Constitution Unit. Routledge, 2002, p. 71.
* ^ Aughey, Arthur: The politics of Northern Ireland: beyond the
Belfast Agreement. Routledge, 2005, p. 92. ISBN 0-415-32788-1