Report on Justice in the 21st Century Innovative Approaches for the Criminal Justice System in Northern Ireland (NIA 313/11-16)

Session: Session currently unavailable

Date: 08 March 2016

Reference: NIA (313/ 11-16)

ISBN: 978-178619-226-4

Committee: Justice

report-on-justice-in-the-21st-century-with-appendices.pdf (9.94 mb)


  1. As a Statutory Committee of the Northern Ireland Assembly the Committee for Justice undertakes a scrutiny, policy development and consultation role with respect to the Department of Justice and plays a key role in the consideration and development of legislation. This results in a heavy workload which does not always allow time for consideration of new approaches and ways of ‘doing things differently’. The Committee was keen to make time to engage and collaborate with the criminal justice sector, including the judiciary, legal profession and voluntary and community organisations to identify innovative approaches and discuss how they could apply within the Northern Ireland context.
  2. In March 2015 the Committee for Justice agreed to hold a series of Justice Innovation Seminars to consider and discuss innovative approaches that could be adopted to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the justice system in Northern Ireland. The seminars were designed to allow the Committee space for engagement with key stakeholders in the criminal justice sector; to bring together a wealth of knowledge to openly discuss; and to identify possible innovative changes that could be made to the justice system and identify new ideas for streamlining and delivering services differently.
  3. The Committee viewed this as particularly important as the current budgetary constraints will necessitate the Department and the sector identifying and adopting new ways of working if services are to continue to be delivered to the required standard.
  4. The Justice Innovation Seminars developed into a significant programme, which has included nine seminars delivered by local, national and international experts; a conference focused on Justice in the Digital Age; keynote events with Lord Justice Leveson, President of the Queen’s Bench Division and Lord Neuberger, President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom; and visits to observe and discuss innovative criminal justice approaches in London, The Hague, New York and Glasgow. 
  5. This report identifies some of the emerging key learning points from the Justice Innovation Programme, and makes recommendations for the Department of Justice for inclusion in the next Programme for Government, and the successor Committee for Justice in the 2016 – 2021 mandate.

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