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The role of a MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly)

Updated: May 2


The Northern Ireland Assembly is made up of the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister. It is composed of 90 elected members who are the Members of the Legislative Assembly (or MLA's). The First Minister and Deputy First Minister lead the Assembly.

The role of a MLAs is to:


Participate in democratic dialogue

Spend their time at the Assembly debating in the Chamber, taking part in Committee meetings and working with other parties to make decisions about Northern Ireland's future.

Represent the Electorate

Listen to the electorate and represent the views of their constituents and make decisions and policies which will lead to improvements in the Northern Ireland economy and society.

Create legislation

Vote on new laws which will protect people, promote equality and diversity and ensure that Northern Ireland is a safe place in which to live and work.

Promote human rights/equality

Work to ensure that the terms of the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement are met, for example, by promoting human rights, equality and diversity.

Hold surgeries

MLAs work in their constituency by holding surgeries in their office where local people can discuss matters.

Promote community relations

Work with the local communities/community groups to improve relations

Raise awareness about their role and work

By attending functions, visiting schools and businesses so that they can meet as many people as possible. This raises awareness and understanding and helps the MLA to understand issues that they may discuss when they return to the Assembly.








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