CAIN: Consultation Paper on the Review of the Criminal Justice System: Press Release, 27 August 1998

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Consultation Paper on the Review of the Criminal Justice System - Press Release, 27 August 1998

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Press Release issued by the Northern Ireland Office on the publication of the consultation paper on the Review of the Criminal Justice System Review in Northern Ireland, 27 August 1998

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the Rt Hon Dr Marjorie Mowlam MP, today published a consultation paper flowing from the Review of the Criminal Justice System in Northern Ireland.

Announcing the publication of the paper, Dr Mowlam said: "I announced the commencement of the Review of Criminal Justice in Northern Ireland on 27 June. The Review is an opportunity for change, but also an opportunity to build on what has been shown to work in Northern Ireland and elsewhere. Its overriding purpose will be to develop the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland in a direction which commands the support and confidence of all parts of the community. I can today announce the publication of a consultation paper which looks to the future of the criminal justice system.

"The consultation paper covers a wide range of issues, but that does not preclude others being raised. It is not prescriptive, but instead aims to stimulate discussion and debate. It marks the beginning of the Review's consultation process. On behalf of the Government I would encourage organisations, agencies, groups and individuals to participate in the important debate which this paper is intended to stimulate."

Notes to Editors

1.Terms of reference of the Government-led Review of Criminal Justice in Northern Ireland were set out in Annex B of the section on "Policing and Justice" of the Belfast Agreement. They are reproduced in chapter 1 of the consultation paper.

2.The Review is being carried out by a group of Government officials and five independent assessors. The membership of the Review Group is set out at Annex A of the consultation paper.

3. As set out in the Agreement, the Review will work in parallel with the Policing Commission, and will report to the Secretary of State by Autumn 1999.

4. The Review Group would welcome written comments by 30 October 1998, but later submissions to the Review will be welcome and given full consideration.

5. Copies of the report are available from HMSO, or by calling 01232 527516. The consultation paper is also available at the Northern Ireland Office internet site. PDF viewer required.



Chapter 1 sets out the origin, aims and scope of the Review.

Chapter 2 seeks views and comments on the establishment of an appropriate set of principles and values for the criminal justice system as a whole, as a basis for planning and against which proposals and ideas can be benchmarked.

Chapter 3 considers the way in which criminal justice functions are grouped and managed in Northern Ireland at present and seeks views on how they might be structured in future, particularly in the context of devolution.

Chapter 4 seeks views on how the criminal justice system might be more accountable and responsive to the community it serves.

Chapter 5 considers the Governments approach to dealing with crime and criminality in Northern Ireland and seeks views on how the criminal justice system's response to crime can be better focused and co-ordinated.

Chapter 6 considers the prosecution and investigative process in Northern Ireland and seeks views on future arrangements for the prosecution process, including the role and responsibilities of prosecutors, and on the potential for greater external supervision of the investigative process.

Chapter 7 considers arrangements for the appointment of judges and magistrates in Northern Ireland seeks views and the possibility of greater lay involvement in the adjudication process.

Chapter 8 considers the existing arrangements for law reform and seeks views on how law reform might be addressed in the future.

Chapter 9 considers and seeks views on the scope for structured co-operation between criminal justice agencies in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

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