Devolution

Under the 1998 Agreement, the UK Parliament transferred legislative and executive powers over most local affairs to the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive Committee. This is known as 'devolution' and it means that the Assembly and Executive Committee can make laws and take decisions on all transferred matters, including health, education, roads and housing. The Assembly is the legislature for Northern Ireland and it appoints the Executive Committee of Ministers to exercise excecutive authority or 'govern' Northern Ireland. Ministers head up the Northern Ireland Government Departments.