Northern Irish Legal Resources

Some of the most important legal sites and resources in Northern Ireland.

  • Northern Ireland Assembly consists of a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) from each of the five main parties, plus the Speaker of the House who acts as Chairperson, and its role is to oversee the organisation and to provide services, structures and property in order for the Assembly to function. The Northern Ireland Assembly employs staff (the Secretariat) to support its work. The Secretariat is divided into six strands; the Office of the Clerk/Chief Executive, Clerking & Reporting, Corporate Services, Facilities, Information & Outreach and Legal & Governance Services.

  • Northern Ireland Legislation. The main UK carries most types of UK Legislation including Northern Irish Legislation. The site provides a breakdown of the types of legislation held on this site that are either exclusively applicable to Northern Ireland or contain legislation that may pertain to Northern Ireland. From there, you can select any legislation type to continue browsing.

  • The Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service (NICTS) is an Agency within the Department of Justice (DOJ) sponsored by the Access to Justice Directorate. The role of the NICTS includes providing administrative support for Northern Ireland’s courts and tribunals, supporting an independent Judiciary and providing advice to the Minister of Justice (the Minister) on matters relating to the operation of the courts and tribunals. It was established in 1979, by the Judicature (Northern Ireland) Act 1978, as a separate civil service in Northern Ireland. The Court Service reports to the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs. Judgments are now available on the site, grouped by year using the date the Judgment was delivered..

  • The Labour Relations Agency was established in 1976 as a Non-Departmental Public Body with responsibility for promoting the improvement of employment relations in Northern Ireland. The Agency provides an impartial and confidential employment relations service to those engaged in industry, commerce and the public services. The Agency's services include the provision of advice on good employment practices and assistance with the development and implementation of employment policies and procedures. The Agency is also active in resolving disputes through its conciliation, mediation and arbitration services. There is an A-Z of employment topics and links to further resources and the agency provides advice and assistance in various forms.

  • The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland is a non departmental public body established by the Northern Ireland Act 1998. Their powers and duties derive from a number of statutes which have been enacted over the last decades, providing protection against discrimination on the grounds of age, disability, race, religion and political opinion, sex and sexual orientation. They also have responsibilities arising from the Northern Ireland Act 1998 in respect of the statutory equality and good relations duties which apply to public authorities.

  • Law Centre (NI) is a not for profit agency working to advance social welfare rights in Northern Ireland. The site provides an Encyclopedia of Rights to help Northern Ireland advisers assist their clients in applying for benefits, appealing decisions, ensuring that they receive the care they are entitled to and generally safeguarding their rights. Although designed for Northern Ireland, most of the information is also applicable to the rest of the UK. (The encyclopedia can be accessed by the general public. However, members of the public cannot ask the centre of advice directly. They should contact independent advice centres and CABs for advice. Cases will be referred to the Law Centre where appropriate.)

  • Industrial Tribunals and The Fair Employment Tribunal of Northern Ireland share a web site. Industrial Tribunals are independent judicial bodies in Northern Ireland that hear and determine claims to do with employment matters. These include a range of claims relating to unfair dismissal, breach of contract, wages and other payments as well as discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, age, part time working and equal pay. The Fair Employment Tribunal is an independent judicial body in Northern Ireland that hears and determines complaints of discrimination on the grounds of religious belief or political opinion. You can search on the site for main decisions of the Industrial Tribunals or The Fair Employment Tribunal or both Tribunals.

  • Legal Island (Northern Ireland Employment Law Hub) is an employment law training and information company working in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, specialising in all matters relevant to today's work force in both jurisdictions. They set up large conferences, seminars and in-house training, addressing key developments relevant to the world of work. They also provide an employment law email service written by top law firms, now relied on by hundreds of organisations throughout the Island of Ireland to keep abreast of important developments relating to labour law.

  • Legal Services Agency Northern Ireland is a Non Departmental Public Body of the Department of Justice (DOJ) established under the Access to Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 2003. The Commission’s role is to administer the provision of publicly funded legal services in keeping with the statutory legal aid schemes. They apply statutory tests to determine whether an individual should receive civil legal aid and if eligible, they pay solicitors and barristers for the legal services provided. While the judiciary is responsible for the granting of criminal legal aid, the Commission also pays for the corresponding legal services provided. In addition to administering the legal aid scheme, they also provide input to support the DOJ in its programme of work to reform legal aid.

  • Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission champions and guards the rights of all those who live in Northern Ireland. They also help people understand what their human rights are and what they can do if their rights are denied or violated.

  • The Law Society of Northern Ireland was established in 1922 when a Royal Charter was granted to solicitors in Northern Ireland to permit the setting up of the Incorporated Law Society of Northern Ireland. It represents and regulates the solicitors' profession in Northern Ireland with the aim of protecting the public. Under the Solicitors (Northern Ireland) Order 1976, the Law Society acts as the regulatory authority governing the education, accounts, discipline and professional conduct of solicitors in order to maintain the independence, ethical standards, professional competence and quality of services offered to the public. There is a Solicitors Database on the site providing access to the contact details of firms and solicitors in the major cities, towns and villages in Northern Ireland. You can search for an individual solicitor, a firm, a firm of solicitors by geographical location or by category of work undertaken.

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    Note that general UK Legal Resources are kept on the UK Legal Sites and Resources page.
    The links above just cover those legal resources which relate specifically to Northern Ireland.
    See also Northern Irish Solicitors