While the possibility of a restored Assembly looks far from imminent, the question of how citizens' rights are delivered/protected now as well as in a future Stormont must not be lost.  With this in mind, at our last Annual Delegate Conference, NIPSA called for reform of one mechanism (the "Petition of Concern") through which progressive change (on women's reproductive autonomy, equal marriage, language rights etc) was previously blocked.  It was argued that reform of the PoC was essential as it had been used not as originally intended ("to prevent discrimination") but "as a veto to discriminate against sections of society.

In order to encourage wider consideration of this debate, towards the end of last year it was agreed that NIPSA Policy and Research would produce a research booklet that gave a brief overview of the issue.  The booklet ("Reforming the Petition of Concern: from 'concern' to full citizenship") is now available to download.  Hard copies are available on request from Harkin House by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (028 9066 1831).

Alison Millar

General Secretary