Talk:Good Friday Agreement

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Untitled[edit]

Just noticed, but it references December, 2005. Future-telling? I've edited Dec. 2005 to Dec. 2004.

Requested move[edit]

Belfast Agreement -> Good Friday Agreement. I think that this agreement is far better known as the Good Friday Agreement, it is certainly the name most often used by news outlets here in the UK. Links to the two are roughly equal, although a brief sample suggests that a fair few of the links to the former are actually rendered as the latter in the relevent articles. This might be a contentious move so I have listed it here. Rje 01:23, Apr 10, 2005 (UTC)

Add *Support or *Oppose followed by an optional one sentence explanation and sign your vote with ~~~~
  • Support. I've never heard it called anything other than the "Good Friday Agreement" by media in the United States, so it's the most commonly known name here. Jonathunder 15:47, 2005 Apr 10 (UTC)
  • Support. I've never heard it called the Belfast agreement. BesigedB (talk) 16:35, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose. Its name is unambiguously the Belfast Agreement. FearÉIREANN 00:16, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC) [See evidence below]]
  • Oppose. There is a working REDIRECT at Good Friday Agreement for anyone who uses the nickname. An encyclopaedia must use the formal, legal, title - but it must also facilitate common misnomers, possibly gently pointing out the error of ways. I think it also important to emphasise through the name that the agreement was reached by Northern Ireland's political representatives, in Northern Ireland. --Red King 13:32, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • Weak support. I'm by no means an expert--just an American who hears what reporters call it--and I never knew it was official (or otherwise) the "Belfast Agreement." I would never have thought to call it anything besides the "Good Friday Agreement" (or even the "Good Friday Accord"). I say that this is a "weak" support because I'm nearly (but not quite) pursuaded by the discussion below. Remes 03:27, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • Weak oppose. FearÉIREANN arguments on POV persuaded me, (the UK/Irish parliaments' usage 66%/34% and 38%/61.7% points to that) so sticking with the official name is the least POV option. Philip Baird Shearer 11:27, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Stick with the official name, as long as there is a redirect from Good Friday Agreement people will still be able to find it. -- Lochaber 12:02, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • Weak oppose The capacity of Northern Ireland to give something two names strikes again. It does not matter much which is used in the title so long as the article uses both. But the proper title is "Belfast Agreement". --Henrygb 00:02, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • Support the more well-known name is the name people look for in an encyclopaedia and the one we're supposed to use. After the move the first sentence can inform the reader that the "correct" name is Belfast agreement, but I have never heard it called that and most people who're only casually acquainted the matter therefore probably haven't either. --Marlow4 07:28, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. The parliamentary name for the Good Friday Agreement was Command Paper 3883. After studying NI Political Events for nearly 10 years, I have always seen it officially called the Good Friday Agreement. It was called such as it was signed on Good Friday. The only connection it has with Belfast is that some of those who signed it were from Belfast. Using Belfast Agreement over Good Friday agreement is nothing to do with offending non-Christians. That is the name given to it by the people who created it. Same with calling the St. Andrews Agreement St. Andrews without offending non-Christians! User:-frosty-
  • Strong support per WP:COMMON. Agreements don't usually have formal names, but "Belfast Agreement" is something I've only seen here, while "Good Friday Agreement", which it obviously was called in retrospect, due to the date of agreement, has been used by pretty much all the participants and the news media. ProhibitOnions (T) 20:32, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
  • support. The agreement is well known as the Good Friday Agreement, Belfast Agreement leads to confusion IMO. --DeadlyAssassin (talk) 05:14, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

"" strongly support" Calling something by a name that is unfamiliar to a large number of people is sheer lunacy, when another term , which is instantly recogniseable to anyone who has watched the news in the past 5 year is optional. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.45.146.200 (talk) 19:45, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

Does it really matter what it is/was called , the greater number of the people in Northern Ireland now wish it had not been agreed to! http://franksartor.org/orangenet

Its name is unambiguously the Belfast Agreement. That was the name it was always intended to have. Good Friday Agreement is a nickname that developed because it was signed on Good Friday. If as orginally planned it had been signed the day before it might well have been nicknamed the Holy Thursday Agreement. A similar debate took place some years ago in The Irish Times. Some readers complained that the paper, Ireland's "newspaper of record", used Belfast Agreement rather than the Good Friday Agreement. The reply was blunt. Its correct name is the Belfast Agreement, nothing else. 'Good Friday Agreement' was an "unofficial nickname".

If the official name was never used, as for example with the official names for the various Home Rule Bills and Acts, then there would be a justification for using the nickname. But as the evidence below from academic books, political websites, legal papers, George Mitchell's own papers, republican publications, unionist publications and the actual Nothern Ireland Act shows, Belfast Agreement is widely known and used and is the technically correct term. Where the correct term is widely used, it would be wrong to move the page to the more widely known but unofficial name. Instead the unofficial name should redirect to the official name. FearÉIREANN 00:16, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
We are not debating the correct name of the agreement, we are debating what it is better known as; see Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names). It is my contention that it is by the nickname "The Good Friday Agreement" that this treaty is far better known as, and as such it should be the name of this article. This treaty has entered the general consciousness as the Good Friday Agreement, most major news outlets use it, many politicians (including most of the signatories) use it, and most of the public use it. There are several precedents for this on Wikipedia; see, for example, Boxer Protocol, Treaty of Rome, and Harris Treaty. Rje 01:04, Apr 12, 2005 (UTC)
Again, not so.
  • It is not far better known as the Good Friday Agreement. The GFA is often used, but so is Belfast Agreement. If 99% of people used the nickname, then that would be justification for using the nickname. But it is not used that way. The technically correct name is widely used in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom (in all three parliaments, the media, etc).
For example: in usage as a percent
In the British Parliament - Belfast Agreement - 66% Good Friday Agreement - 34%
In the Irish Parliament - Belfast Agreement - 38% Good Friday Agreement - 61.7%
In the Northern Ireland Assembly - Belfast Agreement 58.9% Good Friday Agreement - 41%
BBC - Belfast Agreement 50% Good Friday Agreement 50%
So clearly Belfast Agreement is the predominant term in two of the three parliaments, and even in the Dáil and Seanad it is used nearly 4 in 10 times. The BBC uses it 50:50. That hardly supports the claim that GFA is the overwhelmingly predominant name used.
I would argue that the BBC statement is wrong, it is closer to 80%/20% in favour of GFA, see [1] and [2]. However, I am willing to concede the arguement if there are strong religious/political disputes involved (see below). I remain unconvinced by your arguement that the two terms are used equally (although I have never claimed that GFA is either correct or exclusively used). Rje 15:40, Apr 13, 2005 (UTC)
  • According to one academic, the name used tends to reflect the community speaking about it. Roman Catholics use the name Good Friday to describe the day Christ was executed. Many Protestants don't. So it is natural that that name is used primarily by nationalists, as the agreement was signed that day. Most (but not all) nationalists use GFA, but many use Belfast Agreement (One Sinn Féin website I came across used BF.) Most unionists use BF, but some use GFA. So using either one raises POV problems. Do you use the name used by most but not all nationalists, or the one used by most but not all unionists? It is a POV minefield. The simple solution is to use the official name. And that, as the relevant legislation shows, is the Belfast Agreement (which is why the likes of the Irish Times uses it, not GFA. FearÉIREANN 00:02, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I concede that Google has 142,000 references to "Good Friday Agreement" and just 38,000 references to "Belfast Agreement". I am reminded of Eamon de Valera's remark when he lost the debate in Dáil Eireann on the Anglo-Irish Treaty "The majority have no right to do wrong". The Irish Civil War ensued! --Red King 13:32, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Living in the republic, I've never heard it once referred to as the Belfast agreement on RTE news. I honestly was shocked to see that the troubles are deemed to be over after the Belfast Agreement. I'd never even heard of it. Perhaps having Good Friday Agreement in Brackets, after Belfast Agreement would be a good idea, even if it's not technically correct, it would clear up confusion —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.45.146.200 (talk) 19:42, 4 March 2009 (UTC)


EVIDENCE[edit]

Three of the major academic publications on the Agreement are called

    • The Belfast Agreement: a practical legal analysis by Austen Morgan, BSc MA in Law PhD, (Belfast Press, 2000) ISBN 0953928705 (Paperback)
    • Aspects of the Belfast Agreement Ed. Richard Wilford (Oxford University Press) ISBN 0199242623
    • * Irish Legal Information Initiative publication (University College Cork)- 'The Belfast Agreement and the Future Incorporation of the European Convention of Human rights in the Republic of Ireland' by Gerard Hogan in the Bar Review
Websites

Here are some websites, republican and unionist, academic and Congressional, including the summary from notes describing Senator George Mitchell's papers, which he has donated to an archive.

The Act implementing the Agreement

The Northern Ireland Act, 1998 also calls it the Belfast Agreement, as the quote below from Chapter 47 shows.

52. - (1) The First Minister and the deputy First Minister acting jointly shall make such nominations of Ministers and junior Ministers (including where appropriate alternative nominations) as they consider necessary to ensure- (a) such cross-community participation in the North-South Ministerial Council as is required by the Belfast Agreement;

I also could have quoted from parliamentary debates in Britain & Ireland, the Irish media, the British media, the European Parliament, the US Congress, the US media, the French media, Orders-in-Council, Irish ministerial statements, etc. FearÉIREANN 00:16, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)


Would someone please cite opinion polls which suggest a slim majority of unionists voted in favour of the agreement? My scant search throws up "Irish Indpendent," "Sunday Times" and "RTE" which, naturally, all conflict. die Baumfabrik 01:03, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Actually, according to the Northern Ireland Office's official copy, the title is simply "The Agreement"! martianlostinspace 10:53, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Decision[edit]

It was requested that this article be renamed but there was no consensus for it to be moved. violet/riga (t) 15:36, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)


Frankly, I don't care what it's called, the agreement which secured some level of democracy for my country, but at any rate, it is NOT as major a step forward as the author makes it out to be. In my opinion, this has been bulldozed through by the British Government, as an act of propaganda, so they could take the credit for ending a quarter-century long civil war. NI political parties - unionist or nationalist - definitely weren't ready. For example, the crazy new recruitment system for the police means we have far from adequate enforcement of law. It was definitely not a "major step forward for the political system in northern Ireland".

I'm not being pro-British, I'm being neutral, but this is being changed to something more representative.

  • Support. The parliamentary name for the Good Friday Agreement was Command Paper 3883. After studying NI Political Events for nearly 10 years, I have always seen it officially called the Good Friday Agreement. It was called such as it was signed on Good Friday. The only connection it has with Belfast is that some of those who signed it were from Belfast. Using Belfast Agreement over Good Friday agreement is nothing to do with offending non-Christians. That is the name given to it by the people who created it. Same with calling the St. Andrews Agreement St. Andrews without offending non-Christians! User:-frosty-
The other connection being that it was signed in Belfast. « Keith » 21:37, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Support - Almost all academic references are to an agreement known as the Good Friday agreement. What is going on with wikipedia Francium12 (talk) 16:19, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Neutrality[edit]

I sometimes add the word "arguably" into this article, to be neutral to a highly sensitive political topic, but sometimes people change it. It depends on your perspective - what is progress? In my opinion, the Agreement let Sinn Fein, in my opinion terrorists, into government. That is not, for me, a step forward in peace. I would appreciate if people would leave this to be neutral, with the acknowledgement that it is only an opinion. I won't change it this time, I will invite someone to click on my name here, then email me about it. It's a sensitive topic, so please respect that it was not necessarily "progress". It was Demiurge, I think, changed it. From the articles that he has edited, it would appear that he/she is clearly an Irish person. I can't contact him, but I'm inviting him to contact me, and define "progress" and "moving forward". 87.247.132.233 16:22, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

  • "Arguably" is one of those "weasel words". If you can find a proper source claiming that the Belfast Agreement was not a significant event (whether for good or for bad), feel free to add it to the article. Demiurge 16:39, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

My evidence is that it was a view held by many Unionists voting at the referendum, so much so that if this world is to be a democracy, then their view is worth acknowledging. Of 10 Unionist MPs, 9 (DUP) oppose it. I think that's enough, but I need your reassurance that you will agree to the change. I'm not going to waste time putting things in if other people don't like it. martianlostinspace 21:27, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

  • You're not listening to what I'm saying. I'm not arguing that the Belfast Agreement was a good thing or a bad thing; just that it was a significant thing. I haven't heard of anyone denying its significance; do you have a source on this? Demiurge 21:39, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

Of course it was significant - it brought devolution, good or bad. But "a major step forward" - I think this implies that it is good, not significant. If you're going to say "it was significant" then I don't think anyone can argue over that, go right ahead. And evidence? I don't have academic evidence if that's what you're asking, but I think the view of a few hundred thousand is worth acknowledging, and that of the biggest party at the last election (DUP). martianlostinspace 11:06, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Responses to the agreement[edit]

This should be included.

loyalist decommissioning[edit]

Today, a paragraph mentioning loyalist decomissioning (or lack thereof) was added and then removed. The paragraph in question wasn't very well written, but I think there should be some mention of the topic in this article. Aaron McDaid (talk - contribs) 22:17, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Bug in Wikipedia or maybe Firefox[edit]

I was previewing two small changes last night, and then Wikipedia no longer accepted any edits due to database maintenance. I shutdown my computer and then this morning switched it on again. My edits were still there in the edit box. I previewed them again, and clicked Show Changes and everything seemed to be in order so I pressed Submit. But somehow it submitted only the section and deleted all the other sections.

So my advice is not to rely on Firefox keeping your edits, if you close Firefox and reopen it, copy and paste your edits into a new edit session.

I had been planning to mention that the Agreement was also to cover loyalist decommissioning and that as far as I know, only the LVF have done any to date. Aaron McDaid (talk - contribs) 11:20, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 05:50, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

Article Title[edit]

If the "Good Friday Agreement" is lesser known as the "Belfast Agreement", why is this page the Belfast Agreement page? Isn't that backwards?? Timneu22 (talk) 14:57, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

The agreement is the Belfast Agreement, Good Friday Agreement is just vernacular.Traditional unionist (talk) 15:57, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
It isn't the Belfast Agreement OR the Good Friday Agreement. It's just The Agreement. See here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 213.94.210.30 (talk) 17:21, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

But I haven't seen any reference either. This one which is provided in the external link calls it 'Good Friday' while this one which provides the full text doesn't call it anything but 'The Agreement'. Meursault2004 (talk) 10:48, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Apparently this article is under Belfast Agreement because Wikipedia is "dominated by an anti-Christian bias" and "does not like Christian names" (#22). :) --AdamSommerton (talk) 22:32, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
No, if you are a Ulster Loyalist its the Belfast Agreement and if you are an Irish Nationalist its the Good Friday Agreement. - 217.42.105.221 (talk) 02:19, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

"English-Irish Conference"[edit]

The article says that something by this name was created by the Anglo-Irish agreement (though I can find no reference to it on the Anglo-Irish Agreement page). Is this the official name? I have a hard time believing that the UK government would use the term "English" in reference to Britain or the UK as a whole. --Jfruh (talk) 00:29, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Date of the Agreement[edit]

I'm pretty certain that Good Friday 1998 was the 10th of April not the 9th as the article stated. All the 1998 calendars online confirm this. I've changed the date in the opening paragraph from the 9th to the 10th as a result. ANB (talk) 23:55, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Date of devolution - 1st December or 2nd December[edit]

The article currently says that devolution happened at midnight on 1st December. It wasn't: it was midnight on 2nd December. I'm assuming the current wording arises from a belief that the date does not change until AFTER midnight, but as soon as the clock hits midnight, the date changes. Mooretwin (talk) 12:41, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Direct rule came to an end at midnight on the 1st (the convention is that midnight is the end of the day), devolution is in effect from the 2nd (as per the citation) --Snowded TALK 13:01, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
No. Midnight is the start of the day. Didn't you learn that at school? Check out your digital clock - the date will change when the clock hits midnight. The wording now implies a hiatus of 24 hours where there was no sovereign government - would you mind self-reverting? Mooretwin (talk) 13:06, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
You might like to read Midnight especially Digital clocks and computers commonly display 12 a.m. for midnight. While that phrase may be used practically, it helps to understand that any particular time is actually an instant. The "a.m." shown on clock displays refers to the 12-hour period following the instant of midnight, not to the instant itself. Don't worry though, its easy to be caught out by things like this --Snowded TALK 13:31, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
Well, indeed: the article notes the common understanding that the date changes at midnight. That is how most people interpret it for practical purposes. It also says that midnight is an instant, and therefore, strictly speaking neither one date nor the other (or else it is both dates at once). So the current wording is, at best, confusing as readers are likely to misinterpret it as I have noted above, and not from the point of view of astronomers, physicists or pedants. Please, therefore, revert so that the paragraph says that power transferred on 2 December. There is no need for the passage to make some kind of pedantic point about midnight. Mooretwin (talk) 13:43, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
Mooretwin, at the moment it says that one thing ended at midnight on the 1st, and another thing started on the 2nd. There is no misunderstanding, its both the common and the correct use of the language. Midnight on the first does not mean the instant before 00:01 on that day, but 2400 on that day. --Snowded TALK 14:12, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
The problem is that it is not clear, or commonly understood, that midnight means 2400. On the contrary, my view is that the common understanding is that midnight means 0000 (a view also noted by the midnight article.
So the article now is in danger of being misinterpreted as one thing ending at the start of 1st December, and the other thing starting at an unspecified time on 2nd December. It would be correct, clear, and would not alter the current meaning, if the article simply said that the other thing started at midnight on 2nd December. What is your objection to this edit - other than not wanting to back down? Mooretwin (talk) 14:36, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
At the moment I think it reads well and makes it clear, one thing ending another starting. There is no confusion what so ever. Even if there was any confusion over the phrase "midnight on the 1st" which there is not in any common use, then read it in context and the meaning is self evident. I think this not a question of my not wanting to back down, I think its more you not wanting to admit you made a common mistake! Its an issue of style, lets see what other editors think. --Snowded TALK 14:49, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
I didn't make a common mistake. It is the case that the date is commonly considered to change at 0000. Therefore the current wording implies that direct rule ended at 0000 on 1st December, there was a 24-hour vacuum, and then some time on the following day, power was devolved. It would be better and simpler to say that power transferred at midnight on 2nd December. Mooretwin (talk) 15:03, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
FWIW ya'll. As soon as Midnight strikes, a new day begins. That's why NY Governor & Lt. Governor terms end on a December 31 & begin on a January 1. GoodDay (talk) 16:57, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
Quite. Mooretwin (talk) 18:05, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) I adjusted the sentence-in-question to this: ...end of 1 December, 1999..., it's less disputable. GoodDay (talk) 18:11, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Which is why something ceasing at midnight on the 1st December ended on 1st December Something which started at midnight on the 1st December came into effect on the 2nd December. Its basic use of the English language guys but its not worth arguing about. --Snowded TALK 20:29, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
As already noted, the common understanding is that midnight marks the start of the new day. "Midnight on 1 December", therefore suggests midnight 24 hours before devolution. Why risk confusion when it is unnecessary. I've made another amendment. Mooretwin (talk) 22:51, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
You beat me to it, Snowded - we're effectively back to where we were with my first edit. Mooretwin (talk) 22:53, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
I still think its an arrant nonsense to say there was any confusion, but there are better things to spend ones time on. --Snowded TALK 23:43, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

(oudent) Remember the New York stuff. GoodDay (talk) 23:47, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

George Mitchell[edit]

Why is there no mention of George Mitchell in the article? —MiguelMunoz (talk) 00:06, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

Structure[edit]

The structure sections says the text has two elements and then lists a single element. What are the two elements? Lot 49atalk 02:44, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

Opening sentence[edit]

The opening sentence of this article currently reads "The Agreement – also known as the Belfast Agreement...or the Good Friday Agreement". That wording was added in August 2008 without any sourcing and without any discussion. I don't think anybody believes that the name - either official or popular - is "The Agreement". I propose to change the wording back ASAP. Scolaire (talk) 12:17, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Agree. Bjmullan (talk) 12:28, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
Done. Scolaire (talk) 08:56, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

Sunningdale for slow learners[edit]

The phrase "Sunningdale for slow learners" was coined by Seamus Mallon, but not to describe the GFA. In fact he used it in 1996, at a time when the peace process was dangerously close to collapse, to describe the most likely outcome of any talks process (see Joe O'Malley, 'No lifeboat anywhere as lame duck talks head for the rapids', Sunday Independent, 29 September 1996, pp. 14-15). Obviously, he was unaware then of the precise nature of the agreement that would actually be reached two years later. It has been used disparagingly by some people to refer to the GFA over the last thirteen years, but when discussing that use of the phrase it should not be attributed to Mallon. Scolaire (talk) 09:36, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

Requested Move (redux)[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved. Vegaswikian (talk) 21:03, 24 September 2011 (UTC)



Belfast AgreementGood Friday Agreement – This is a redux of the proposal above, which seems to have petered out but may have ended in a move. The essential reasons if that we use the "common" name for article titles. Belfast Agreement is certainly the "correct" name, but I think there will be consensus that Good Friday Agreement is teh "common" name. RA (talk) 08:44, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

  • Support. "Good Friday Agreement" -"Belfast Agreement" gets roughly twice as many hits as "Belfast Agreement" -"Good Friday Agreement" on both Google and Google Books. WP:COMMONNAME applies. Scolaire (talk) 10:58, 19 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. As per Common name. Bjmullan (talk) 11:58, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Support per WP:UCN. Overwhelmingly the more common name. Good Ol’factory (talk) 23:50, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Support per nom. Clearly the common name. JonCTalk 10:01, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

NI has been in the UK since 1801[edit]

Article says: "The present constitutional status of Northern Ireland as part of the United Kingdom" derives from the GFA. This is just plain wrong. NI (which didnt exist in 1801 but the territory did) has been in the UK since the former Ireland joined it back in 1801. That status has never changed since 1801. It wasn't somehow changed when the GFA was brought in either! Frenchmalawi (talk) 19:09, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

"The present constitutional status of Northern Ireland as part of the United Kingdom" is more than just whether Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom. It is also how Northern Ireland is governed as part of the United Kingdom (i.e. Constitution). I appreciate "constitutional status of Northern Ireland" is often taken as shorthand for "part of the United Kingdom or part of a united Ireland", but that's not what words actually mean. --RA (talk) 20:37, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
On second reading, I see a tautology. I've removed the offending part of the sentence. --RA (talk) 20:43, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
"Northern Ireland's present devolved system of government are based on the Agreement." That is basically correct and I am happy with it. Well done.
RA - As an aside, I assume good faith but the line you take on the ".ie" thing diminishes my view of the value of your input. I just don't go for ignoring law; I don't know the motives of why people do. The laws of Ireland govern ".ie", no other national laws. No one is addressing that except me. Just thougth I'd say that in good faith. Frenchmalawi (talk) 00:46, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

Multi Party Agreement was never signed[edit]

The article says the MPA was signed. It wasn't. As Austen Morgan, author of Belfast Agreement, Legal Analysis says "The political parties signed nothing; the prime minister and secretary of state and taoiseach and Irish foreign minister, on behalf of their governments, signed on vellum" The only document signed was the British Irish Agreement - an internatinoal UK/IRL treaty. Frenchmalawi (talk) 19:19, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

Nice catch. I've changed it to "agreed".
However, I've partially revered your changes here. While the parties didn't sign anything, they did more that just "endorse" the Agreement. The itself agreement was reached between the parties and the two governments. --RA (talk) 20:33, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
I don't care if the word "endorsed" is used or not; it ought to be very clear that only the two Govs. signe it. I preferred my wording but have proposed other words. Frenchmalawi (talk) 00:36, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
The matter is that the parties did more that just "endorse", or "accept", or "agree to" the Agreement. They made the agreement - through long negotiation. Only the two governments signed it, but all the parties made it.
TBH I don't see the significance or importance of stating that only the two governments signed the resulting document. But I've added it to the footnote. --RA (talk) 00:51, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

Wrong date.[edit]

Article says "The Agreement came into force on 2 December 1998." The correct date here is 2 December 1999. Frenchmalawi (talk) 19:23, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

Thanks, --RA (talk) 20:39, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
It was pointed out to me by email that some aspects of the GFA were conducted before the 2 December 1999 date. On further inspection the citation is for the British-Irish Agreement coming into force on that day, not the Good Friday Agreement. That is more correct and I've changed the article to say that. --RA (talk) 09:48, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
RA - You are fundamentally misunderstanding the nature of the GFA. The "British-Irish Agreement" (as it is coloquially called) and the MPA cannot be separated. They are two sides to the one coin. That coin is called the GFA. The GFA is an international agreement or treaty between the UK and Ireland. You are totally wrong about this. The GFA came into force in 1999, not before. Please provide a source for your statement that the GFA came into force in 1998 and please find a source for the suggestion (fundamentally absurd to my mind) that the MPA, an unsigned document, ever came separately "into force". I seriously encourage you to read the Austen Morgan book. It will help you with basic concepts around all of this. Frenchmalawi (talk) 22:53, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
"Into force" is only appropriate for the BIA. The "Implementation" section should be edited to change "Belfast Agreement" to BIA where that phrase appears. The GFA was implemented long before the 1999 date, for instance with the Assembly elections in June 1998. I seriously encourage you to read anything other than the Austen Morgan book. It will help you see what happened in the real world. My views on that book are below. --Scolaire (talk) 08:13, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
Scolaire said: "Into force" is only appropriate for the BIA." Again, you are ignoring an Irish Supreme Court decision that contradicts this silly notion that the "BIA" can be viewed as something separate to the GFA. Source please? Frenchmalawi (talk) 23:22, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

Why can't we say who signed GFA?[edit]

The Article currently says:

"The Agreement was made between the British and Irish governments ("the two Governments") and eight political parties from Northern Ireland."

The above is ambiguous. It doesn't clearly confirm who signed it. It was signed by the UK and IRL governemnts only. I tried to include this clarification in the text of the Article but Editor RA insists this cannot be included in the text of the article. This, he feels, is only worthy of being referenced in a footnote. I disagree with this but have reached a deadlock and don't want to get kicked off WP for edit warring etc. I would welcome any views. I think stating who signed it is important and ought to be prominently in the article, not deliberately hidden in a footnote. Frenchmalawi (talk) 00:01, 12 June 2013 (UTC)

I think that stressing who signed it, and hiding it in a footnote, are opposite extremes. I am not a fan of footnotes, and never have been. I also think the structure of the section is funny, and some of the wording, i.e. "the British and Irish governments ('the two Governments')..." is plain silly. It's kinda obvious that the British and Irish governments are the two governments, and the fact that "governments" is capitalised in the agreement isn't confusing and isn't noteworthy. The WP article is not a legal document, so there's no need for "hereinafters".
The section should be renamed as "Parties and structure". The first paragraph should say:
The Agreement was made between the British and Irish governments and eight political parties from Northern Ireland: the Ulster Unionist Party, the Social Democratic and Labour Party, Sinn Féin, the Alliance Party, the Progressive Unionist Party, the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition, the Ulster Democratic Party and the Labour Group."
The second paragraph should say:
The Agreement comprises two elements:
  • the legal agreement between the two governments, signed by the leaders of the two governments; and
  • a more substantive agreement between the eight political parties and the two governments.
This says who made it and – in the appropriate place – who signed it. It was, of course, only the Prime Minister and the Taoiseach (and two ministers), not the entire cabinets of two states, and the capital "G" is left out because it is not a direct quote, and lowercase is the convention on WP. Scolaire (talk) 08:30, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
Sounds about right. Plus of course the agreement only came into effect after the two referendums. Emphasizing the governments signing over and above the parties agreement of the peoples vote hasn't any justification behind it that I can see, I'd just present it along with the rest and not put it in a footnote though. Dmcq (talk) 09:02, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
Sounds good to me too. Personally, I'd keep the list of parties in the foot note just to avoid clutter - but it doesn't do anything to change meaning, so I don't mind. --RA (talk) 09:42, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
My own view is that if a reader sees "eight parties", he/she is going to want to know which eight parties without having to click a link, that's all (and yeah, I know you can just hover over it now, but even so). Scolaire (talk) 10:08, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
Another unrelated thought occurs to me. Surely the legal agreement between the two governments was "substantive"? Shouldn't the second element be "a more substantial agreement"? Scolaire (talk) 09:32, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
I've edited the article in line with the above. Scolaire (talk) 10:08, 12 June 2013 (UTC)

This is the sort of wording I would propose: Frenchmalawi (talk) 00:00, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

The Agreement comprises two elements:

Only the British-Irish Agreement was actually signed, being signed by the British prime minister and secretary of state and the Irish taoiseach and Irish foreign minister, on behalf of their governments on vellum.[4] [5] The British Irish Agreement contains in its schedule the Multi-Party Agreement.[5] Therefore the British-Irish Agreement and the Multi Party Agreement comprise the two elements of the one Good Friday Agreement.

Thanks. Frenchmalawi (talk) 00:00, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

I think the fact that it needed ratification is necessary as the agreement would have been null and void without that. It's all well and good talking about people agreeing things signing things but it is the ratification that counted as far as getting it into effect. Dmcq (talk) 00:10, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
Fully agree Dmcq - that's only my suggested wording for the para. in question. The refferendum stuff is further down. Don't think we should try to cover it all in one para...Frenchmalawi (talk) 00:23, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
Well I think that the main bit can be covered in one place so you are disagreeing with me. Dmcq (talk) 09:45, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
I don't honestly see any justification for changing to that version. It doesn't give any extra useful information, just makes it more complicated and adds unnecessary detail like "signed on vellum". Scolaire (talk) 18:48, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
Same. I think it's easy to add unnecessary complication by fixating over who signed what. The substantive point is that there was agreement between the parties. Trying to separate the British-Irish Agreement too far from the multi-party agreement is a legal perspective. The more substantial perspective is political, not legal. Scolaire's wording get that point across and makes the legal mechanism without placing too much emphasis on it. --RA (talk) 22:14, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

The Agreement was made between the British and Irish governments and eight political parties from Northern Ireland: the Ulster Unionist Party, the Social Democratic and Labour Party, Sinn Féin, the Alliance Party, the Progressive Unionist Party, the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition, the Ulster Democratic Party and the Labour Group.

This is untrue. The Belfast Agreement is an international treaty that was signed and made between the Governments of the UK and IRL. They are the only parties to the Agreement and, accordingly, the only parties with any legal rights under it. No political parties have any rights or obligations under this Agreement. It is perfectly possible to describe the Agreement in a better way, avoiding a misleading description which is what the above is. Frenchmalawi (talk) 04:13, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

You are stating a fact with which other editors disagree, for which you have provided no justification and for which you have no support. To me, it is manifestly obvious that the Agreement is an agreement, and not an international treaty. That a document was signed on that day which constitutes an international treaty does not alter that fundemental fact.
Re your linking to the Labour Coalition, the article says that the group "disintegrated shortly after the [1996 Forum] election." It makes no mention of the Mitchell talks or the GFA. The ref only refers to the Labour group in the Forum. Have you a source to say that this particular organisation even existed on 10 April 1998? Scolaire (talk) 09:08, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
"The Belfast Agreement is an international treaty..." No. The British-Irish Agreement is an international treaty. The "Belfast Agreement", what is called the "Good Friday Agreement", was a multi-stranded agreement. It is made up of an international treaty and a political agreement. You're right in so far as the political parties are not bound to the agreement. But wrong in so far as you seem to be making out that the Belfast Agreement was solely between the two governments.

After months of intensive talks, the Belfast Agreement was signed on 10 April 1998. The agreement consisted of two parts: the British Irish Agreement, an international, legal agreement between the United Kingdom (UK) and the Republic of Ireland and the Multi-Party Agreement, a political agreement, accepted by seven of the eight political parties taking part in the negotiations. The Belfast Agreement was not signed by the political parties; the only signatories were the Prime Minister, the Secretary of State, the Taoiseach and the Irish Foreign Minister.— Cornelia Albert, The Peacebuilding Elements of the Belfast Agreement and the Transformation of the Northern Ireland Conflict, 2009

--RA (talk) 13:12, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
Hi RA - Thanks for setting out that quote from the Cornelia Albert book. Why can't we just use that for the paragraph (paraphrased if you like) rather than what you have inthe article right now? It would be a distinct improvement as it is much clearer, even if not exactly what I would prefer. How about that solution? Frenchmalawi (talk) 21:58, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
But...that paragraph – paraphrased – is exactly what is being used in the article right now. If you think that that is the solution, then I guess there's no problem. Scolaire (talk) 13:45, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

Great source on the GFA[edit]

Just thought I would flag that we can all access this fantastic source: "The Belfast Agreement, A Practical Legal Analysis", Austen Morgan, Belfast Press, 2000.. I think the source is so useful that it's worth specifically flagging it here. Frenchmalawi (talk) 00:11, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

It looks like it can go in as a reference but I can't see why yo're so struck on it. It seems rather out of date to me, a later reassessment would be better I think. Dmcq (talk) 10:11, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
Part of that is on the CAIN website and is already cited several times in the article. Also, "fantastic source" is a bit over the top. Apart from his own website there's very little info available on Austen Morgan. He's just a lawyer who wrote a book. And it can't be selling that well if they're making it available for free. Scolaire (talk) 18:53, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
This is for Dmcq "I'll just ignore you unless you raise the RfC or someone else comes along to side with you." These were your words. I think they say a lot. Frenchmalawi (talk) 04:08, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
That was for you going on about the Belfast Agreement not constituting a new start for Northern Ireland. You seem unable to drop the stick but just keep saying things like it is obvious and other people are silly which doesn't exactly advance anything. Here you go on about the states signing an agreement on vellum when for instance the Sunningdale Agreement fell flat because it did not get the agreement and assent this one did even if it was signed on vellum as well for all I know or care.
I will rephrase what I said there as 'This discussion does not seem to be advancing anywhere and the consensus does not seem to agree with you so I shall not be participating further unless you raise an RfC or someone else comes along to support your view" Hope that meets wit your approval. Dmcq (talk) 09:30, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
Dmcq - One reason I participate here is that it's nice to interact with people who are using their heads and making coherent arguments. We've disagreed because I asked you to identify a source for the notion that NI was "established" in 1998. You never did so, though you did refer to some political rhetoric. So on the whole, your input for me is disappointing so it doesn't really get my "approval". But thanks for the response any way. Frenchmalawi (talk) 21:51, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
WP:NOTASOCIALNETWORK covers my feeling about all that. I'm not going to spend my time on discussions that aren't going anywhere as far as improving the articles is concerned. Dmcq (talk) 22:15, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
Scolaire "He's just a lawyer who wrote a book." How many lawyers wrote a book on the Good Friday Agreement? Can you name another? I'd be very interested to read any other such books. Genuinely. Frenchmalawi (talk) 04:08, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
Nonetheless, being the only book does not make it a good book. I've read it (at least the portion that is on CAIN) and it sounds like an undergrad trying to be clever. There's no reason to think that his analysis has even been accepted by any other lawyer. Scolaire (talk) 09:20, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
p.s. I think I am not going to be popular around here because I challenge people. But I will stick at all times to the rules and not edit war or be in any way in breach of WP rules. Frenchmalawi (talk) 04:08, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
I appeciate that. Thanks. Scolaire (talk) 09:14, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

Thanks Scolaire - Glad you appreciate that I am just giving views and not interested in personal bickering or the like. In terms of the Austen Morgan book and your remark "it sounds like an undergrad trying to be clever". In my opinion, lawyers tend to have huge egos. They do like to sound clever too. But, are you saying that what he said in the book is not clever, that there are things in it that are incorrect? I think he didn't just sound like he was being clever, mostly what he said was spot on and unrivalled in terms of analysis because it is the only legal book on what is a legal agreement. Did you spot anything in it that was inaccurate? I disagreed with one or two things but on the whole, very little. The entire book is available at the link I provided, not just extracts. Frenchmalawi (talk) 21:51, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

Are you a constitutional lawyer? I'm not. I can't tell whether what he says is "accurate" or whether it is "spot on". Most of what I read doen't seem to me to matter one way or the other. Whether or not he succeeds in being clever certainly isn't important. What matters is whether his analysis has been critically acclaimed, corraborated by others or cited by others in his field. I see no evidence that that is so. It would certainly be true, but a tautology, to say that it is "unrivalled in terms of legal analysis because it is the only book on the legal aspects of the agreement." But why is it the only book? If, as you claim, the legal document was of paramount importance, and the rest was fluff, surely there should be a plethora of books on the subject? You have a point of view. It may or may not be shared by this Austen Morgan fellow, but it's not shared by any editor on Wikipedia. It's time to drop the stick. --Scolaire (talk) 08:33, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
Hi. Not sure who posted that. To be honest, I do have a pretty good grasp of legal matters. That's why I suppose I find the level here really frustrating. I just wanted to improve the article's accuracy but am getting nowhere because of Editors who don't seem to understand anything legal at all. But turning to your query "What matters is whether his analysis has been critically acclaimed, corraborated by others or cited by others in his field. I see no evidence that that is so." I can tell you that Austen Morgan's "The Belfast Agreement" was cited by the Chief Justice of Ireland in an Irish Supreme Court case. Frenchmalawi (talk) 14:42, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
By the way, here is exactly what the Chief Justice of Ireland said in connection with the book....:

In this connection, a study carried out by Mr. Austen Morgan, a member of the English and Northern Ireland bars, under the title “The Belfast Agreement: A practical legal analysis”, to which we were referred is of interest. He draws attention to the surprising uncertainty as to what document represents the official text of the Good Friday Agreement, a difficulty which obviously does not arise in this case having regard to the fact that the provisions to which the Minister is to have regard are set out in the Schedule to the 1998 Act. He also points out that none of the versions was executed by any of the parties. After a meticulous analysis of various steps taken by both governments in relation to the implementation of the British-Irish Agreement and the Good Friday Agreement, he concludes in para 1.35 “The Belfast Agreement comprises the MTA [the multi-party agreement or Good Friday Agreement] and the BIA [the British-Irish Agreement]: a political agreement (namely the MTA); and a legal agreement (the BIA) – with the latter containing a legal (in international law) annex.”

Note the Chief Justice even says it was a "meticulous" study....a pretty glowing report from THE top authority. [3] Frenchmalawi (talk) 14:59, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
Sorry. I typed two many tildes last time (five tildes gives just the date and time, not the username). So, apparently he did manage to be clever. Good for him. Nevertheless, the CJs judgment only confirms me in my belief that the book is too legalistic for the likes of us to be trying to interpret it. To be honest, I don't think you have as good a grasp of legal matters as you think you do. Did you know, for instance, that a signature is not required for a contract to be legally enforceable? That's one of the first things they teach you: the word "okay" spoken on the telephone is enough to make a valid contract. Your contention that "no political parties have any rights or obligations under this Agreement" is laughable. Did you miss the nearly ten years of wrangling about the obligation on Sinn Féin under the agreement to secure arms decommissioning? Or the rights of the Irish and Ulster Scots languages under the agreement? Legal analysis is best left to the experts. Lay people trying to interpret a law book can go horribly astray. Scolaire (talk) 19:59, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

Scolaire - You said "Legal analysis is best left to the experts." This seems to be your way of:

  • dismissing the Austen Morgan book as a source;
  • leaving inaccurate statements in the article; and
  • not having to adduce sources to defend the inaccurate statements.

How can I respond to things like this. It's not no the "WikiMap". Why are you so unwilling to accept any points I make? Is it something about my style that you don't like? Why can't we improve the article? Frenchmalawi (talk) 14:53, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

As far as other people are concerned you are just another person on the internet, your interpretation is no better than anyone else's. You've advertised the book so I for one now consider this a dead section. If you're talking about inaccurate statements that I'm sure is covered by one of the other sections here. Dmcq (talk) 16:25, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

Was "Labour" a party that endorsed the GFA?[edit]

The article basically says, the GFA was supported on Good Friday 1998 by 8 NI political parties. It currently lists "Labour" as one of them. The question has been raised as to what this "Labour" refers to and should it be there at all. My understanding is the following:

  • A party named "Labour" was indeed officially accepted as one of the 8 NI parties that endorsed the GFA at the conclusion of the processs on GF 1998 (Various Sources: some listed below, another is "Austen Morgan book);
  • Northern Ireland (Entry to Negotiations, etc) Act 1996 This UK Act specifies "Labour" in its Schedule. This Act related to the "negotiations" referred to in Command Paper 3232 (Ground Rules for Substantive All-Party Negotiations, Cm 3232, 16 April 1996 [4]) presented to Parliament on 16th April 1996;

Boston, Massachusetts December 7, 1998] - Another source in the same terms; here it is described as the "Northern Ireland Labour Party" and the leader describes himself as a member of the "Labour movement".

  • Belfast Gazette (an official legal source) which includes the following Belfast Gazette 16 August 1996:

NORTHERN IRELAND OFFICE, CHANGE IN THE NOMINATING REPRESENTATIVE OF A PARTY LISTED IN PART II OF SCHEDULE 1 OF THE NORTHERN IRELAND (ENTRY TO NEGOTIATIONS, ETC) ACT 1996 PUBLISHED UNDER SECTION 5(2) (B) OF THE ACT. Mr. Malachi Curran is the nominating representative for Labour in place of Cllr. Mark Langhammer. The negotiations mentioned in section 1 are the negotiations referred to in Command Paper 3232 presented to Parliament on 16th April 1996.

  • Note that the negotiations that concluded on Good Friday 1998 were the "the negotiations referred to in Command Paper 3232 presented to Parliament on 16th April 1996." The official name for the Party, it appears, by law was recognised as just "Labour" though additions like "NI Labour" or "Labour Party of NI" appear perfectly understandable. Similarly, there is this source: House of Commons Hansard, 6 Dec 1996 : Column: 808 which again refers to "Labour".

In summary, "Labour" was, officially (i.e. on paper) still a party when the GFA was concluded; its leader was one of the leaders who endorsed it and as such is recognised as one of the 8 parties that did so. I think this is fairly clear. Frenchmalawi (talk) 22:35, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

To answer the question: yes, "Labour" was a party to the agreement. The real question is, who represented "Labour"? You have provided three links: the first refers to the Northern Ireland (Entry to Negotiations, etc) Act 1996, not the GFA, and says only "Labour"; the BBC site says Labour Party of Northern Ireland and the JFK Library says Northern Ireland Labour Party. None of them says Labour Coalition, the page currently linked to, whose article says it "disintegrated" two years before the GFA. And please don't move articles without prior discussion just to make your argument look stronger. Scolaire (talk) 08:57, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
I think linking to Labour Coalition is okay though as that describes the situation and that's what they were elected to represent in the forum even if it does not entirely and exactly correspond with the facts. Dmcq (talk) 13:55, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
Scolaire -
  • From your tone (suggesting I moved an article to bolster an argument) I don't know if you are interested in what I have to say. Maybe you don't want to accept anything I say - whatever the sources. I hope not. It's a pity when there cannot be a constructive exchange.
  • The definitive source for the name "Labour" is SCHEDULE 1 OF THE NORTHERN IRELAND (ENTRY TO NEGOTIATIONS, ETC) ACT 1996. That was the Act that gave parties the right to participate in the negotiations that led to the GFA. Check out the list of full, formal party names in that Schedule. It makes for interesting reading.
  • It lists all the parties with their full formal names inlcuding "Labour" and other parties, like the "Communist Party of Ireland" etc. Frenchmalawi (talk) 14:35, 15 June 2013 (UTC)The real question is, who represented "Labour"? Malachi did. Check out the sources too on that front. Including Hansard. Frenchmalawi (talk) 14:35, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
@FM: Sorry, I don't understand the concept of "definitive source" at all. You seem to treat Hansard as some fundamentalists treat the Bible: open it up and the truth will be revealed to you. That's not how it works.
@Dmcq: I don't think it's okay to link to the Labour Coalition as long as the article says that it disintegrated immediately after the Forum election. If it can be edited (with sources) to say that it was the group that was party to the GFA then it would be different: it could and should be linked. Scolaire (talk) 20:12, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
|They were elected on that ticket though. It is perfectly okay to link to a topic that says more about something even if the title is not an exact match. The alternative is to say composed of the people elected for that but they split up, but really what's the point of that? We wouldn't be saying they are the Labour coalition here. Dmcq (talk) 21:01, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

I've given lots of sources confirming "Labour" (simply) was one of the 8 GFA parties; I've also given a legal source confirming the exact name (I cited an Act of Parliament). I don't know what Scolaire is talking about. Does he disagree with my position that "Labour" was one of the 8 GFA parties. If he does, what sources do you want to adduce? Thanks. Frenchmalawi (talk) 23:14, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

When did the GFA come into force?[edit]

The above is the question. I have stated that it wasin 1999. User RA has made edits to the effect that only the supposed "British-Irish Agreement" came into force in 1999. He seems to think that the "Multi Party Agreement" (an unsigned document) came into "force" on some other date? I've said this is impossible. Frenchmalawi (talk) 23:04, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

I'd agree with RA about that. I think the problem here is some sort of clash of ideas. Britain has a great respect for the government and its laws whereas in Ireland laws do not command such a great respect, a relationship is needed. Thus it is hard to say when the Belfast Agreement actually came into force, it was a continuing commitment, whereas the British-Irish Agreement was the law thing. In some ways I'd say a signed agreement is actually a declaration that the parties do not trust each other and are not friends so yes it was needed because people were warring but the multi party agreement bit is what people actually wanted. Dmcq (talk) 00:26, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
Per my post above, agreements do not "come into force". The legal terms of the BIA "came into force" in 1999; the agreement as a whole was implemented gradually over fifteen years, and still is not fully implemented. Too much wrangling over petty details on this talk page. Scolaire (talk) 09:03, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
Majority view is the so called BIA is separate to the GFA. And the BIA came into force on a day that is different to the day that (what?) came into force? Frenchmalawi (talk) 14:26, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
Yes basically but why do you need a date for a relationship? Would when they announced it be okay for you? some of them risked their lives then if it all went pear shaped. Or how about when Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams sat together at the same table smiling in 2007 even though the DUP weren't represented at the Belfast Agreement? Dmcq (talk) 14:55, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

Hi Dmcq, the words "entered into force" is a formal legal thing. Not sure you get that sort of thing. Frenchmalawi (talk) 15:04, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

Not sure you get that sort of thing either. You seem to be tying yourself up in knots. The legal element of the GFA (the BIA) "came into force" on a certain date. Those elements that were not "a formal legal thing" could not and did not "come into force". It's simple Scolaire (talk) 20:26, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
Scolaire, I came up with a source that said the GFA (singular) comprises the "BIA" and the "MPA". Neither can be separated from the GFA. The sources received praise from teh Irish Supreme Court. What source have you adduced to back up the notion that the two can be somehow "split out" and the notion that somehow the "BIA" came into force on a different day to (what? not sure, the MPA, an unsigned document). Or maybe you just don't want to admit you are wrong - and this is silly. Frenchmalawi (talk) 23:20, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

Hi All, thought I would add the following as my source for my view that you cannot split out when the GFA came into force between the "BIA" and something else. They are two sides to the one coin and the GFA came into force in 1999. These are the words of the Chief Justice of Ireland:

In this connection, a study carried out by Mr. Austen Morgan, a member of the English and Northern Ireland bars, under the title “The Belfast Agreement: A practical legal analysis”, to which we were referred is of interest. He draws attention to the surprising uncertainty as to what document represents the official text of the Good Friday Agreement, a difficulty which obviously does not arise in this case having regard to the fact that the provisions to which the Minister is to have regard are set out in the Schedule to the 1998 Act. He also points out that none of the versions was executed by any of the parties. After a meticulous analysis of various steps taken by both governments in relation to the implementation of the British-Irish Agreement and the Good Friday Agreement, he concludes in para 1.35 “The Belfast Agreement comprises the MTA [the multi-party agreement or Good Friday Agreement] and the BIA [the British-Irish Agreement]: a political agreement (namely the MTA); and a legal agreement (the BIA) – with the latter containing a legal (in international law) annex.”

Note the Chief Justice even says it was a "meticulous" study....a pretty glowing report from THE top authority. [5] Thanks. Frenchmalawi (talk) 15:04, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

If they say it isn't easy to bound in legal terms then why are you asking here as if was some sort of thing like that? They did not say they were the same thing, they said they were different things. Just accept that instead of trying to fit square rods into round holes all the time. Dmcq (talk) 17:38, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
Thinking about it the law does quite often deal with things like this even if it isn't entirely straightforward. For instance on what date would one say a common law marriage was started - on the first date, when they have a baby or what? As to one lawyer liking how another lawyer wrote something up fine but I still think it seems rather out of date and I'd prefer a later assessment and I don't share your enthusiasm for it. but as I said yes put it in if you like. I've no objections to it as a reliable source. There is no need for you to duplicate your advertisements for it. Dmcq (talk) 21:19, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks Dmcq; in my opinion, you have a sincere way of expressing yourself. I really don't think you get what I am talking about. Thanks though. Frenchmalawi (talk) 23:17, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
Agree with Scolare when he says that Frenchmalawi is trying him/herself up in knots. Furthermore, there were no edits to the article stating that the MTA "came into foce" at any time. However, we are all agreed that the BIA "came into foce" on the 2 December 1999. That's what the article says. That statement is supported explicitly by two references. Whatever else came into force that day is debatable — but we are certainly all agreed that the BIA "came into foce" on the 2 December 1999. --RA (talk) 20:59, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
Hi RA; you sound like a genuione editor but I don't think you can understand the point. Here it is again as simply putas I can. The article says the BIA came into force on a particular date. The article does not state that the GFA came into force on a particular date. This is wrong because the GFA came into force on a particular date - the 1999 date. Hope that makes sense to you. It is as simple as that and I certainly amn't "tied up in knots". I'd like a source for the notion that the BIA came into force on a date in 1999 but the GFA didn't. Frenchmalawi (talk) 22:47, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
I'm a believer in Occam's razor, Frenchmalawi. Look:
  • "The article does not state that the GFA came into force on a particular date." Correct.
  • "This is wrong because the GFA came into force on a particular date." How it is wrong? The article doesn't give any date for when the GFA came into force for it to be wrong about it.
  • "I'd like a source for the notion that the BIA came into force on a date in 1999 ..." Two (including one you provided) accompany the statement in the article.
  • "...but the GFA didn't." The article doesn't state when the GFA came in to force. And it doesn't state that the GFA didn't come into force on any particular date. It makes no comment on the matter. No source is required.
--RA (talk) 23:01, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
To be fair, I think you misunderstand Frenchmalawi on this one. He is not saying that the article is contradicting itself. He is saying it is wrong for the article not to state that the GFA came into force on a particular date because he believes that the GFA did come into force on a particular date; specifically, the date when the BIA came into force. He believes that the GFA and the BIA are inseperable, and that therefore the GFA came into force along with the BIA. I disagree with him on this. He himself has been at great pains to stress that only the BIA was a legal international compact. Therefore I believe that only the BIA could "come into force", and that the MPA – the second element of the GFA – was implemented rather than "coming into force". Since the Assembly had been elected, met, and appointed an executive before the December 1999 date, it seems to me a nonsense to say that the MPA "came into force" only on that date. As such, I think the onus is on Frenchmalawi to provide a source clearly supporting his assertion. I would also re-iterate my comments in the section below. "Applying Occam's razor" doesn't really advance the discussion. It is clear that both of you are determined to stick to your respective positions, no matter what. Scolaire (talk) 14:58, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
I get his meaning. And I get yours. I'm applying Occam's razor because the maximum we can say where we are all agreed is that the BIA came into force on that date. On that we all agree. We don't need to say when the GFA "came into force", if it did at all. --RA (talk) 15:31, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
If you understood him, then you deliberately misrepresented him. The way you split up his post made it appear to say something very different than what it did. Scolaire (talk) 16:11, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
I was illustrating my perspective. Not representing his. That's why I wrote, "I'm a believer in..." Followed by, "Look:" --RA (talk) 19:01, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

@Scolaire: You had my view almost in a nutshell when you said "He believes that the GFA and the BIA are inseperable, and that therefore the GFA came into force along with the BIA." The only bit I think you got wrong was the words along with the BIA. Because the GFA comprises the BIA and the MPA (two sides of the one coin, the coin being the GFA); it is not correct to think of these coming into force alongside each other. They are all part of one GFA. @Scolaire: You got my view completely wrong when you said "He himself has been at great pains to stress that only the BIA was a legal international compact.". No. I have been at pains to point out that the GFA was a legal international compact (more properly agreement or treaty). Again, you can't split out the BIA and MPA from the GFA. They are two parts of the one coin.

@Scolaire: You mentioned something about contract law previously so I will take it you have some interest in law. Take a step back and ask yourself. What is the BIA (have a read of it). In short, it is a few short articles that bring refer to the MPA which is exhibited as a schedule and give the force of law to the MPA and obviously the few short articles of the BIA. The MPA and BIA are the GFA and the GFA came into force on one date in 1999. I've also given sources on this (most notably the Austen Morgan book, a source cited with high regard by the Irish Supreme Court.) @all- the fundamental mistake here is taking descriptions literally: the BIA shuld be understood as "one part of the GFA" and the MPA should be understood as "another part of the MPA". They cannot be split from the GFA. The GFA would not exist with out either parts. @all - hope you can understand this! Best wishes. Frenchmalawi (talk) 22:35, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

I understand it. I have shown that I understand it and you have said that you can see that I understand it. I disagree. I have given you the reasons why I disagree. That's what you seem unable to accept. You're asking me to "take a step back", but you have not addressed a single one of my arguments. You are not engaging, just repeating the same mantra over and over. Don't ask me what my arguments were. Go back and read what I've said, and then, if you can, give me reasoned answers. Otherwise, the discussion is over. I don't do "yes it is...no it isn't". Scolaire (talk) 06:11, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
The position that they are the same thing is not supported by the sources, quite the opposite. This whole business comes under WP:No original research. And reasoned arguments are not what is required, sources directly supporting what is said are what is really required. Dmcq (talk) 08:39, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

@Scolaire - I don't think you understood anything I typed above.

@Dmcq, that the BIA and MPA are parts of the one GFA is backed up by a source (Here is the Irish Supreme Court again): "After a meticulous analysis of various steps taken by both governments in relation to the implementation of the British-Irish Agreement and the Good Friday Agreement, he concludes in para 1.35 “The Belfast Agreement comprises the MTA [the multi-party agreement or Good Friday Agreement] and the BIA [the British-Irish Agreement]: a political agreement (namely the MTA); and a legal agreement (the BIA) – with the latter containing a legal (in international law) annex.” Can you give a source that contradicts the Supreme Court please? Best wishes. Frenchmalawi (talk) 22:59, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

Nobody here is disagreeing with what that says. The BIA was an important part of the GFA. That does not mean the GFA has any particular date associated with it or was signed or anything like that. Dmcq (talk) 23:20, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

Motion to close multiple discussions[edit]

There are now six discussions going on simultaneously. Essentially, all six are about one editor interpreting certain documents in a certain way, which he thinks should be incorporated into the article, and three others disagreeing with him. Despite at times getting a bit heated and a bit personal, all involved editors have shown great patience and willingness to engage. I don't think we could have done more. However, after a week of discussion, it is clear that neither of the two parties is going to convince the other. While WP policies say that editors must discuss their differences, once it reaches the point where the same things are just being said over and over it becomes disruptive, and an abuse of the talk page. I move that all the above discussions stop now. This is not a formal motion. Editors can signal acceptance simply by not posting any more. That is the course that I intend to take. Goodbye all, and happy editing. Scolaire (talk) 07:19, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

Links[edit]

>> Clinton prepped to scold leaders in North if Good Friday talks failed Lihaas (talk) 15:35, 4 May 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ House of Commons Hansard, 6 Dec 1996 : Column: 808
  2. ^ THE BELFAST AGREEMENT, A practical legal analysis, Austen Morgan, The Belfast Press, 2000
  3. ^ THE BELFAST AGREEMENT, A practical legal analysis, Austen Morgan, The Belfast Press, 2000
  4. ^ THE BELFAST AGREEMENT, A practical legal analysis, Austen Morgan, The Belfast Press, 2000
  5. ^ Cite error: The named reference morgan2000 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).