Press Release

Committee Releases Major Report on Devolution of Policing and Justice

Session: 2009/2010

Date: Tuesday, 09 March 2010

Reference: AER 01/09/10

An important report on the arrangements for the devolution of policing and justice matters was published today by the Northern Ireland Assembly to coincide with a major debate in the Assembly.

Later this morning, the First Minister and the deputy First Minister are expected to call, jointly, on the Assembly to make a formal request to the Secretary of State for policing and justice powers to be transferred from Westminster.

Speaking today, Jimmy Spratt MLA, the Chairman of the Assembly and Executive Review Committee which is responsible for this issue, confirmed MLAs had already been given an opportunity to consider the Report.

He said, “The Committee thought it would be helpful to publish its report in time to inform Members before today’s debate, particularly since it deals with issues such as the financial implications of devolution; the role of the Attorney General; arrangements for the appointment, and removal, of judicial office holders; North/South policing and justice agreements; parading; the Public Prosecution Service; and the Justice Minister’s position in the Northern Ireland Executive. The report also includes a Protocol on National Security arrangements as these are powers which will not be devolved from Westminster.”

This is the second such report to be published by the Committee and follows an earlier Inquiry into the devolution of policing and justice matters. This latest report includes details of recent discussions the Committee had with the Secretary for State, and the First Minister and the deputy First Minister, during evidence sessions which were held on 18 February, 2010.

From 9 March 2010, onwards, the report can be viewed on the Committee’s website (http://archive.niassembly.gov.uk/assem_exec/2007mandate/assem_exec.htm)

ENDS


Notes to Editors:

1. Under the terms of the St. Andrews Agreement, the Assembly and Executive Review Committee was established to deal with the institutional arrangements of the Assembly and the Executive.

2. The current membership of the Committee is:

  • Mr Jimmy Spratt (Chairperson)
  • Mr Raymond McCartney (Deputy Chairperson)
  • Mr Alex Attwood
  • Mr Nigel Dodds, MP
  • Mr Declan O’Loan
  • Mr Simon Hamilton
  • Mr Danny Kennedy
  • Mr Alan McFarland
  • Mr Alex Maskey
  • Mr John O’Dowd
  • Mr Ian Paisley Jnr.

3. The Committee first conducted an Inquiry into the devolution of policing and justice in 2007/2008 and this was followed by the First Report on the Arrangements for the Devolution of Policing and Justice Matters in January 2009.

4. The Second Report on the Arrangements for the Devolution of Policing and Justice Matters is published, officially, on 9 March 2010.

5. Media enquiries about the report should be directed to:

Sinead Murphy
Deputy Communications Officer
Northern Ireland Assembly
Phone: 028 9052 5938
Mobile : 07899 864 368
Email: sinead.murphy@niassembly.gov.uk

6. Inquiries about the Committee should be directed to:

Stephen Graham,
Clerk to the Assembly and Executive Review Committee
Northern Ireland Assembly
Parliament Buildings
Stormont
Belfast
BT4 3XX
(028) 9052 1784 or 07767 271401
stephen.graham@niassembly.gov.uk

7. The Chairperson of the Committee is available for interviews and any requests should be made through the Communications Office.

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