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Outline the main features of Direct Rule and discuss its strengths and weaknesses.

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Outline the main features of Direct Rule and discuss its strengths and weaknesses. Direct Rule was enforced as a temporary expedient to Northern Ireland ruling problems in March of 1972. Direct rule meant that the Secretary of state and his Junior Ministers ran Northern Ireland directly from Westminster. The solution was imposed due to the discrimination against Catholics by the Unionists who ruled Northern Ireland. The Secretary Of State John Reid has a seat in the British Cabinet. He is responsible for the conduct of policy in Northern Ireland and for representing and defending the interests of Northern Ireland both at Westminster and when necessary at an international stage. ...read more.


Transferred: These are neither excepted or reserved and are the responsibility of a local assembly. Under Direct Rule there are two ways in which laws are passed by either acts of parliament or by ministerial decree which take 40 days to become law after being sent to parliament. Many see the name 'Direct Rule' as a misnomer as there are many things that 'dilute' it. Two examples come along with legislature. There is an Inter-Governmental Conference held between the British and Irish governments at this conference the matters in Northern Ireland are discussed between the governments and amended until an agreement is upheld. This dilutes the strengths of the Secretary of State as he cannot make a law without agreements from both governments. ...read more.


The strengths would be that it is an acceptable second choice as the alternate to the old unionist one party rule. Now there is little to no discrimination with more discussion regarding matters through the Inter Governmental Conference etc. stopping discrimination against the minority. The weaknesses are that it is temporary, provides democratic deficit, and has no local accountability. Basically the state itself has little or no consultative role in the running of the state. Northern Ireland has no choice in who governs them as there are no elections between the British politicians (conservative, labour and liberal democrats). I see Direct Rule as a weakness as a devolved government is far more efficient and suitable for a state that wishes to decide its own future. ...read more.

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