Committee Hears Oral Evidence From The Secretary Of State

Session: 2007/2008

Date: 03 October 2007

Reference: AER 04- 07/08

The Assembly and Executive Review Committee, which is conducting an Inquiry into the transfer of policing and justice matters to Northern Ireland, heard today from the Secretary of State, Shaun Woodward MP.

Speaking after the meeting today, the Rt. Hon. Jeffrey Donaldson, MP, Chairperson of the Committee said:

“The Committee was very pleased to welcome the Secretary of State. This is the first time he has appeared as Secretary of State before an Assembly Committee”.

“The Committee addressed a number of issues today with the Secretary of State including the preparations being undertaken by the Northern Ireland Office for devolution, the proposed budgetary allocations for the devolved structure and the governance and accountability arrangements which might apply between any new Department and the various policing and justice organisations”.

In addressing the Committee, the Secretary of State made it clear that he had no intention of imposing a Minister of Policing and Justice on the Assembly, and that, furthermore, he had no legislative power to do so.

The Public Prosecution Service is expected to appear before the Committee on 16 October.

The Committee is expected to report by February 2008 on the preparations which the Assembly has made, and needs to make, to facilitate the devolution of policing and justice matters.

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