The argument against the Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland on this blog has thus far been based on the stark fact that we do not need such a bill. Human rights in Northern Ireland are already protected under UK law by the Human Rights Act and the European Convention of Human Rights. No advocate of a bill has yet been able to advance any concrete suggestions as to what it might contain and which additional rights Northern Ireland actually needs.
If the first detail to emerge from the BoR Forum is anything to go by, what we need is to lift the age of criminal responsibility to 16 and then to 18. Think about this for a moment. The implication is that a 17 year old should not be held criminally responsible for theft, rape or even murder. There may be an argument that the current age of criminal responsibility is set too low, at 10 years old, but to suggest that a 15 year old, or indeed even a 16 year old, is not capable of understanding the seriousness of their actions is not just outrageous, it is a notion which is extremely dangerous for society.
It is becoming more and more imperative to kill this bill stone dead.