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Northern Ireland law has been the legal system of Northern Irelandmarker since the creation of Northern Ireland as a separate country within the United Kingdomon 3rd May, 1921, under the Government of Ireland Act 1920.


For the purposes of private international law the United Kingdom is divided into three distinct legal jurisdictions:

Northern Ireland is a common law jurisdiction. Although its common law is similar to English common law and partially derives from the same sources, there are some important differences in law and procedure between Northern Ireland and England and Wales.

The current statute law of Northern Ireland comprises Acts of Parliament of the United Kingdom Parliamentmarker which apply to Northern Ireland and acts of the devolved Northern Ireland Assembly, as well as Statutory Instruments made by departments of the Northern Ireland Executive and the British Government. Also remaining on the statute books are Acts of the Parliament of Northern Ireland passed between 1921 and 1972 and certains Acts of the Irish Parliament made before the Act of Union 1800, and Acts of the English Parliament and British Parliament extended to Ireland under Poyning's Law between 1494 and 1782.

See also


Legal system





Further reading

  • Britain's Legal Systems, Central Office of Information, 1997, ISBN 0117017132
  • Criminal Justice Systems in Europe, Bo Svensson, 1995, ISBN 9138304821
  • Law and State: The Case of Northern Ireland, Kevin Boyle, Tom Hadden and Paddy Hillyard, 1975
  • The Legal System of Northern Ireland, Brice Dickson, 1993, ISBN 0853894744

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