New human rights proposals for Northern Ireland would allow “interested bodies” as well as individuals to bring cases to court, it was claimed today.
It would allow the province’s Human Rights Commission, led by Monica McWilliams, to bring test cases to court, a ‘rebel’ member of the Commission argued.
Commissioner Lady Daphne Trimble spelt out her objections to proposals being sent today to the Government — the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights — and agreed by eight of the 10 Commissioners.
The senior Ulster Unionist and DUP councillor Jonathan Bell, who is also a commissioner, are formally dissenting from the report to be handed over to NI Office Minister Paul Goggins this afternoon.
Mrs Trimble, wife of the former First Minister Lord Trimble, said the proposals amount to a comprehensive Bill of Rights for the province, while other issues including parading and education had not been resolved.
“I am not against human rights in any shape or form. We want to ensure people have the best and most appropriate rights,” Mrs Trimble said.
“We have a lot of people in Northern Ireland who are very keen on a wider Bill of Rights and they are entitled to that view. But I believe human rights should be the remit of government.”
The two dissenters argue the proposals will take powers away from the Assembly and Westminster and place it in the hands of “unelected” judges.