With the words of Christopher McCrudden, it was “both a peace agreement, and a blueprint for a wide range of future political arrangements. It is complex and multi-faceted and, clearly, some parts of the Agreement have worked better than others.
Power-sharing and the newly established Assembly were the core of the historic compromise that gave birth to the new democratic scheme. And indeed, the Agreement provided for an assembly of one hundred and eight members, elected according to the method of proportional representation with the method of Single Transferable Vote
so emphasised the essential principles of the exercise of that legislative power: specifically, power-sharing and equality
The requirement for the newly elected representatives to declare themselves unionist, nationalist or other reflects the need to ensure, through intercommunal voting (which could take the form of parallel consent or weighted majority), that the most important decisions are shared and supported by a large majority and no longer confined to the old sectarian logic
he executive authority (competent for transferred matters72) was to be composed of a Prime Minister and his Deputy, both elected by the Assembly with inter-community vote, and by a Minister plus a deputy for each departmen
A series of safeguards were designed to ensure that all sections of both communities were protected and able to “participate and work together successfully in the operation of these institutions
or all these purposes, the Agreement intervened by establishing the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, to monitor government and public authorities and make sure they respect and fulfil human rights regulations.
Civic Forum. This consultative institution, made up of sixty members drawn from various sectors and aimed at broadening the range of participants in the political arena, represented the application of the idea of deliberative democracy
rand Two deals with a North-South dimension and is aimed at the establishment of mechanisms for greater cooperation between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
North-South Ministerial Council, together with cross-border implementation bodies for specific issues, and an additional arrangement for agreed cooperation between bodies in charge of designated functions in each jurisdiction
Strand Three dealt with the dimension of British-Irish relations. A new forum was established for this purpose, under the name of British-Irish Council (BIC).
epresentatives from the Irish Government, UK Government, Scottish Government, Northern Ireland Executive, Welsh Government, Isle of Man Government, Government of Jersey and Government of Guernsey, and is aimed to “promote the harmonious and mutually beneficial development of all relations among the populations of these islands.
British–Irish Intergovernmental Conference was also created to replace and incorporate both the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Council and the Intergovernmental Conference established under the 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement.
he parties also recognized the authority of the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning, engaged in the dismantling of illegal arsenals, and confirmed their willingness to continue constructive collaboration with it.
olitical prisoners, both governments undertook to develop mechanisms that favoured their release.
wo conditions were established: the first concerned the seriousness of the offense for which the defendant had been convicted and the consequent need to defend the community; the second, instead, specified that
were not to benefit from such agreements “prisoners affiliated to organisations which have not established or are not maintaining a complete and unequivocal ceasefire.”
Following the indications of the text of the Good Friday Agreement, the Government of Ireland Act of 1920 was repealed and the Northern Irish consultative referendum would delegate the final decision on the agreement reached in multi-party negotiations to the people.
Northern Ireland, it was established that voters had to decide on whether or not they supported the new Northern Ireland’s constitutional status within the UK.
the binding obligation to recognise the possibility for a referendum
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