Lord Chief Justice And Chairman Of Policing Board Appear Before Committee

Session: 2007/2008

Date: 02 October 2007

Reference: AER 03- 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 evidence today from the Lord Chief Justice and the Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Policing Board.

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

“The Committee was very pleased to welcome the Lord Chief Justice today. We believe it to be the first time the Lord Chief Justice or any of his immediate predecessors have appeared before locally elected representatives in Stormont”.

Mr Donaldson went on to say,

“The Committee explored a number of issues with the Lord Chief Justice including the structure of the Court Service, and how it would relate to other policing and justice organisations, and with any new Policing and Justice Department. The Lord Chief Justice was also asked about arrangements for making judicial appointments.”

In relation to the matters explored with the Policing Board, Mr Donaldson confirmed

“The areas covered with the Policing Board included the relationship, governance and accountability arrangements between the Policing Board and any new Policing and Justice Department, and the timing and preparations for devolution.”

Mr Donaldson also indicated,

“The Committee will hear tomorrow (Wednesday, 3 October) from the Secretary of State and the Director of the Public Prosecution Service is also 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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