Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly <p>The <em>Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly</em> is a legal research journal published quarterly by the School of Law at Queen's University Belfast.</p> <p>The journal is published four times a year by the School of Law, Queen's University Belfast. The journal considers prospective articles on all areas of law and from all methodologies. If you are interested in submitting an article to the NILQ, please see our '<a href="">For authors</a>' section.</p> en-US (Mark Flear) (Marie Selwood) Mon, 12 Mar 2018 11:23:18 +0000 OJS 60 The debate about wheelchair spaces on buses goes ‘round and round’: access to public transport for people with disabilities as a human right <p><em>This article examines the cases bought by Paulley concerning access to buses for wheelchair users when the wheelchair space is occupied by a buggy. It argues that the conclusion by the Supreme Court was unsatisfactory and a missed opportunity for a public statement about the rights of people with disabilities. It argues that reasonable adjustment is a problematic concept and fails to address the competing needs of social groups in terms of accessibility. This is compounded by traditional distinctions between disability and impairment and a failure to consider disability access in the context of human rights despite the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.</em></p> Abigail Pearson ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 12 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Human rights: contesting the displacement thesis <p><em>From within the camp of broadly left-wing or progressive critiques of human rights, one of the key objections that has emerged is what will be referred to here as ‘the displacement thesis’. In sum, this critique maintains that reliance on the language of human rights by movements for radical social change is problematic, because it tends to crowd out (or displace) other, potentially emancipatory, languages, and as a consequence distract attention from broader, structural causes of injustice and oppression. It is argued here that, while this argument is intuitively appealing, it falls short for a variety of reasons. There are, to be sure, many problems with human rights, but the mobilisation of rights language can nonetheless make an important contribution to movements for radical social change, without displacing or precluding the mobilisation of other emancipatory languages, and the challenging of deeper, structural causes of injustice.</em></p> Paul O'Connell ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 12 Mar 2018 11:14:19 +0000 Rape pornography, cultural harm and criminalisation <p><em>In 2015 the offence of possessing extreme pornography (Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, s 63) was extended to cover the possession of pornographic images of rape. Proponents of the legislation claim that rape pornography is ‘culturally harmful’, because it normalises and legitimates sexual violence. Critics have dismissed ‘cultural harm’ as poorly defined and lacking evidence. However, critical engagement with, and development of, this concept has been limited on both sides of the debate.</em></p> <p><em>This article fills that gap through a sustained theoretical exposition of the concept of cultural harm and detailed analysis of its role in justifying the criminalisation of rape pornography. It makes the case that at least some rape pornography is culturally harmful, but nevertheless concludes that criminalisation of the possession of rape pornography is not an appropriate response to that harm.</em></p> Tanya Palmer ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 12 Mar 2018 11:14:44 +0000 (Re)conceptualising state secrecy <p><em>This paper seeks to reconceptualise state secrecy and asks whether it is adequately understood in the UK. It argues that state secrecy is systemic not exceptional and that it is supported by complex institutional structures and cultural practices. It analyses the legislative armoury of state secrecy, including investigatory powers (RIPA, DRIPA and IPA) and develops a tripartite model of state secrecy. Properly understood, state secrecy can be divided into three categories: esoteric, operational and efficient. Esoteric state secrecy restricts access to decision-making and information. It is a facet of power, utilised to control. Operational state secrecy protects techniques, procedures and investigations. It is not as all-encompassing as esoteric state secrecy, but can be cumulative where one demand for secrecy creates another. Finally, efficient state secrecy references the pragmatic sense in which secret conditions allow faster decision-making and the conceptual limits of transparency in a modern complex&nbsp;state. These categories illuminate how state secrecy’s true effects are masked because it is so entrenched.</em></p> Lydia Morgan ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 12 Mar 2018 11:15:17 +0000