This paper provides background information on the statutory human rights and equality bodies in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Britain, and analysis of the factors that impact on their operation. It draws on literature relating to these bodies and to National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) more widely; on seven interviews and a round table residential seminar in Kent in March 2011, supported by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, involving 17 experts (including the authors) with direct experience of the operation of the human rights and equality bodies in Ireland and the UK.
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