Constitutional Conundrums: Northern Ireland, the EU, and Human Rights works on Northern Ireland and Ireland in the context of huge change in both the UK’s constitutional structures and its place in the world. Combining knowledge of UK & Irish Constitutional Law, EU and International Law, Human rights, Trade & WTO law the project brings specific insights into how Northern Ireland’s role in the UK, relationship with Ireland and its future trade possibilities will evolve in the coming years.

Constitutional Conundrums: Northern Ireland, the EU, and Human Rights is an ESRC Impact Acceleration Account project undertaken by four legal scholars at Durham, Newcastle and Birmingham Universities. Over the past three years Dr Sylvia de Mars and Mr Colin Murray of Newcastle Law School, Prof Aoife O’Donoghue of Durham Law School and Dr Ben TC Warwick of Birmingham Law School have brought their range of expertise to bare on critical questions regarding the future of Northern Ireland post Brexit and Human Rights reform. 

The rationale for the project is straight-forward: there are many very specific ‘Irish’ dimensions to current political debates surrounding ‘Brexit’ and the potential repeal of the Human Rights Act 1998, but these are not being addressed in sufficient detail (if at all) by the current political narratives.

The project’s sheds a light on these particular Irish dimensions, so as to help those affected–whether Irish or British–by these very serious looming changes to the UK’s constitutional structure.  Equally, the project aims to engage directly with policy makers in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, so as to ensure that negotiations with Westminster and/or Brussels regarding both Brexit and the HRA 1998 take full account of the specific ways in which their jurisdictions will be affected by the changes.

This website hosts an overview of the work being done, consisting of animations produced for potential voters; opinion pieces on specific Irish and Northern Ireland issues that are not receiving enough attention and policy papers that highlight the specific impact of both the Brexit  referendum and the HRA’s repeal on Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

The researchers involved in the project are:

Prof. Aoife O’Donoghue, Professor in Law, Durham University (E-Mail | @aoifemod)
Dr. Ben T.C. Warwick, Lecturer in Law, Birmingham University (E-Mail | @btcwarwick)
Mr. Colin R.G. MurraySenior Lecturer in Law, Newcastle University (E-Mail | @mastermanmurray)
Dr. Sylvia de MarsLecturer in Law, Newcastle University (E-Mail | @sylviademars)

The project is on Twitter at @niconstitution.

The project team are grateful for the research assistance of Ms. Sophie Doherty.