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1. Introduction

In May 2008 the Culture, Arts and Leisure Committee of the Northern Ireland Assembly instituted an inquiry into the development of a museum policy for Northern Ireland. It took written and oral evidence and completed its report by the end of the year.  On 12th January 2009 the Assembly debated and approved the Committee’s report, which contained 28 recommendations.

This draft policy has been developed in response to the issues raised by the Committee’s Inquiry and in consideration of the 28 recommendations. The purpose of the policy is to map out a way forward for the museums sector in Northern Ireland.

Human Rights and Equality

The Department considers that the proposals contained in the draft policy are compatible with the Human Rights Act 1998

Under section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, public authorities are required to have due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity between:

People of different religious belief, political opinion,  racial group, marital status or sexual orientation;

Men and women generally;

People with disabilities and those without;

People with dependants and those without.

In addition to this obligation public authorities are required to have regard to the desirability of promoting good relations between persons of different religious belief, political opinion or racial group. These obligations are designed to ensure that equality and good relations considerations are carefully considered as part of the policy development process and that consultation can take place with those on whom the policy will impact most.

DCAL has concluded that the proposals put forward in this paper do not require a full equality impact assessment. The proposals suggested would not result in adverse implications to section 75 groups and altering the proposals would not result in better community relations or equality of opportunity.

A copy of the screening form can obtained by contacting the Department using the contact details provided.

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