Stormont Committee Discusses Work On ‘Devolution’

Session: 2008/2009

Date: 07 October 2008

The Assembly and Executive Review Committee, chaired by Jimmy Spratt, began further work, today, on the devolution of policing and justice matters.

Mr. Spratt confirmed that the Committee spent the morning discussing a list of issues which it needs to examine in more detail. He said,

“Submissions from the leaders of seven of the political parties represented in the Assembly formed the basis for the Committee’s discussions.”

Mr Spratt acknowledged that, whilst a submission from the First Minister and deputy First Minister had failed to materialise, he went on to say, “Suggestions from Alliance, the DUP, the Green Party, the PUP, Sinn Fein, the SDLP and the Ulster Unionists had given the Committee much food for thought on what is a complex, and sensitive, issue.”

Mr Spratt explained that the Committee is likely to look at

  • The method the Assembly might use for appointing a Policing and Justice Minister;
  • How a Department for Policing and Justice would fit into the Executive;
  • The structure of the Department;
  • Relationships with counterpart organisations in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland;
  • Who, in the Executive, might be responsible for the appointment of an Attorney General and members of the judiciary;
  • The future status, and accountability, of the Court Service and the Public Prosecution Service;
  • Relationships with the Policing Board;
  • The cost of providing a full range of policing and justice services; and
  • The timing of ‘devolution’.

Mr Spratt said, “The Committee also agreed to conduct its examination of these issues by way of an Inquiry, or Report, the Terms of Reference for which will be the subject of discussion when the Committee next meets.”

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