Royal Commission on Reform of the House of Lords
The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission is a statutory body established on 1 March 1999 under section 68 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998. One of its functions is to keep under review the adequacy and effectiveness in Northern Ireland of law and practice relating to the protection of human rights. It is in the exercise of that function that the Commission makes this submission to the Royal Commission on the Reform of the House of Lords.
As the only statutory Human Rights Commission in the United Kingdom (indeed the first fully-fledged Commission anywhere in Western Europe), we are keen to ensure that the mechanisms in place at Westminster for protecting human rights are as effective as possible in preventing the passage of laws which breach human rights and in bringing to the government’s attention instances of abuses of human rights. A reformed House of Lords has significant potential in this regard.