The Executive Committee (Functions) Bill

20 August 2020

Practice Area: Planning Law

A colloquium with John Larkin QC (former Attorney General for Northern Ireland) and Richard Bullick (former Special Advisor to Peter Robinson). Hosted by Carson McDowell LLP.

Last month the Northern Ireland Assembly passed the Executive Committee (Functions) Bill through accelerated passage in under a month with little detailed scrutiny. This piece of legislation was intended to address the issue of the role of the Executive in planning matters but ended up rewriting some of the rules for wider decision making. Some have said this legislation potentially rewrites the St Andrews Agreement while others maintain it is a sensible tidying up exercise. Either way this seemingly innocuous bill led to the biggest rebelling in the history of the DUP and now raises profound questions for the future. At this colloquium we examined how we got here and where we might go next.