Committee Releases Major Report on Devolution of Policing and Justice

Session: 2009/2010

Date: 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

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