The Petition of Concern mechanism has never been implemented as the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) and Northern Ireland Act (NIA) intend or require. This is largely due to the way the Standing Orders of the Assembly have been drafted and applied.
Over time, the Petition of Concern has come into increasing disrepute given, ironically, its repeated use for party political purposes and to block equality and rights initiatives.
We argue in our latest briefing paper that, in the absence of consensus on an alternative, the only viable course of action is the implementation of what was originally intended.
Read the briefing paper in full here: S469-CAJ-Briefing-Petition-of-Concern-Jan-2018