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Northern Ireland: What is Devolved?

The Northern Ireland devolution settlement, provided for in the Northern Ireland Act 1998, apportions subjects into three different categories of legislative competence.  The crucial point to note is that the 1998 Act defines what isn’t transferred – the assumption is that everything not defined in this way is the responsibility of the devolved Assembly and Executive.

Effectively, this means any given matter falls into one of the following three categories:  

An understanding of the types of matters which are transferred can be gleaned from the list of Ministerial responsibilities. Schedule 2 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 contains the full details of excepted matters, with Schedule 3 of the Act giving details of reserved matters.  Broadly, though, these are: 

Reserved matters
Excepted matters

Northern Ireland: The Devolution Act, the Devolved Institutions

Wales: The Devolution Act, the Devolved Institutions, Devolved responsibilities

Scotland: The Devolution Act, the Devolved Institutions, Devolved responsibilities