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petitions of concern were used 18 times
PostPosted: Sun 4:24, 04 Aug 2013

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So what is going on?

The former SDLP leader said: "The petition of concern facility was put into the agreement to safeguard communal sensitivities and specifically to protect equality and human rights considerations.

Since the restoration of devolution in 1998,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych], the device has been used a total of 63 times - more than half of those were in the past two years.

In the most recent assembly term,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych], petitions of concern were used 18 times, compared with just six in 2007/2008, the year devolution was restored.

"It was not proposed or envisaged as a tool to protect any minister from due accountability - not least when there are issues on probity in public finances or propriety of ministerial conduct.
According to Mr Durkan, the assembly's standing orders need to be amended to more accurately reflect the 1998 Good Friday Agreement itself, because the measures are being used "as defensive, pre-emptive and prescriptive vetoes".
Unionists,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych], mainly the DUP, have accounted for 37 petitions of concern.

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