Queen's University Belfast - Public not sold on democracy

June 19, 2008

Ten years on from the Good Friday Agreement, Northern Ireland is not yet a "normal" society, according to a report published at Queen's University Belfast. It is based on information from the 2007 Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey conducted by ARK, a joint research initiative by Queen's and the University of Ulster. Robin Wilson, who analysed the results, said there was a "worrying" lack of consensus on issues central to a peaceful democracy, such as opposition to political violence, the right to protest and the presumption of innocence. "One third of people surveyed also thought that protest marches, which are a fundamental human right in a democratic society, should not be permitted; and over half (58 per cent) thought that the authorities should have the right to detain people for as long as they want without putting them on trial," Mr Wilson said.

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