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The NORTHERN IRELAND ACT 1998 (c.47) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
which established a devolved legislature for Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
, the Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Assembly , after decades of direct rule from Westminster .

It repealed parts of the Government of Ireland Act 1920
Government of Ireland Act 1920
and Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973 , and established new rules in line with the European Union
European Union
and the Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
peace process , subsequent to the Belfast Agreement
Belfast Agreement
of 1998.

The Act allows for a devolved Northern Ireland
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
Northern Ireland
remains a part of the United Kingdom
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 through the 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 .

SEE ALSO

* Belfast Agreement
Belfast Agreement
* Ireland Act 1949
Ireland Act 1949

FURTHER READING

* Walker, Graham. "Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Devolution, 1945–1979," Journal of British Studies Jan. 2010, Vol. 49, No. 1: 117-142.

NOTES

* ^ "This section does not affect the power of the Parliament of the United Kingdom
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
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. ISBN 0-415-23035-7 * ^ Aughey, Arthur: The politics of Northern Ireland: beyond the Belfast Agreement. Routledge, 2005, p. 92. ISBN 0-415-32788-1

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