The constitutional framework

Derek Birrell

in Direct Rule and the Governance of Northern Ireland

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780719077579
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701881 | DOI:
The constitutional framework

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This chapter sets out the constitutional and legal framework under which direct rule was introduced and evolved in Northern Ireland. It explains the temporary context of the arrangements and the procedures introduced for both replacing and restoring direct rule. The legal basis for direct rule has never been put on a permanent or settled foundation but only renewed regularly for yearly or six-monthly cycles. The major constitutional arrangements of the Government of Ireland 1920 Act have remained as the bedrock of the constitutional framework and have been amended and added to for the purposes of devolved settlements primarily by the Assembly Act 1973, the Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973, and other legislation, and have been suspended or replaced temporarily in order to introduce and continue direct rule.

Keywords: direct rule; Northern Ireland; constitutional framework; legal framework; Government of Ireland 1920 Act; Assembly Act 1973; Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973

Chapter.  5670 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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