Academics from across these islands to examine conduct of any future border poll

Academics in Dublin, Belfast and London have launched a major new investigation into how any future referendum on the constitutional status of Northern Ireland would best be designed and conducted.

An inter-disciplinary working group has been established by academics in the Constitution Unit at UCL, Queen’s University Belfast, Ulster University, Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin.

The academics, with expertise in politics, law, sociology and history, will consult and deliberate over the coming year before producing a report in autumn 2020 on how a border poll could be carried out with legitimacy and without civil unrest.

Dr Alan Renwick, deputy director of the Constitution Unit at UCL, will lead the project, joined by colleagues Professor Robert Hazell and Alan Whysall.

The QUB participants are Professor John Garry, Katy Hayward, Professor Christopher McCrudden of the School of Law, and Professor Brendan O’Leary, who is also at the University of Philadelphia.

They are joined by Ulster University’s Arthur Aughey, emeritus professor of politics, and Professor Cathy Gormley-Heenan.

The Trinity team is made up of Oran Doyle, associate professor in law, and David Kenny, assistant professor in law, as well as Dr Etain Tannam.

The only UCD appointee is Dr Paul Gillespie, deputy director of the UCD Institute for British-Irish Studies (IBIS).

Tags: Irish border

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