Tag Archives | NI Justice Minister

Life Sentence Review Commission deny Brendan Lillis release

There’s an ongoing campaign for the release of former Provisional IRA member, Brendan Lillis, on compassionate grounds.  But the BBC report that the Life Sentence Review Commission have just confirmed the Prison Service’s view that there were not sufficient grounds to justify his release.  From the BBC report Republican prisoner Brendan Lillis will not be released on compassionate more…

Legal Aid Fees Dispute: “It’s a farce.”

More on the ongoing legal aid fees dispute.  UTV reports that just 18 out of 500 law firms in Northern Ireland have said they are willing to work under the disputed new pay rates. A Department of Justice spokesman said: “Copies of the list of firms willing to undertake criminal legal aid work is available to more…

“nor does it sit comfortably with the transparency expectations of a modern society”

As the BBC reports, in response to a written question from TUV leader, Jim Allister, MLA, the Northern Ireland Justice Minister, David Ford, has revealed that, in the last 4 years, there have been 4 ‘super-injunctions’ granted in Northern Ireland – that is, court orders made “prohibiting publicity on the granting of injunctive relief”.  From the BBC more…

“the First Minister, deputy First Minister, Attorney General and I have therefore agreed…”

The Northern Ireland Attorney General, John Larkin, has been complaining about his lack of powers of supervision over the Public Prosecution Service since he was appointed in May 2010.  It was, he said at the time, “something that should be urgently looked at”. The NI Justice Minister, David Ford, responded on 7 June 2010 that he intended more…

Legal Aid Fees Dispute: “the Law Society takes the view that this matter should receive early and urgent priority”

As the BBC report, the President of the Law Society of Northern Ireland, Brian Speers, has called on the NI Justice Minister to make the resolution of the legal aid fees dispute  “the day one priority for the minister when the assembly is reconvened.”  The report also notes The Northern Ireland Court Service confirmed that 36 solicitors’ firms more…

Criminal Justice Inspection NI to review Police Ombudsman’s independence

The Northern Ireland Justice Minister, David Ford, has already commissioned former civil servant Tony McCusker to examine the allegations made against Department of Justice civil servants by Sam Pollock when he resigned as Chief Executive at the NI Police Ombudsman. And, by the end of last week, the Police Ombudsman, Al Hutchison, had asked the Criminal Justice more…

Legal Aid Fees Dispute: “The reality is this is happening across the north”

The dispute between the Northern Ireland Justice Minister, David Ford, and solicitors over cuts to legal aid fees in Crown Court Proceedings seems to be intensifying. The Belfast Telegraph reports Pearse MacDermott, from the [Solicitors Criminal Bar Association (SCBA)], said: “Recent action has been taken as it is felt that the rates of remuneration introduced will jeopardise more…

NI Justice Minister names independent reviewer

As the BBC reports, Northern Ireland Justice Minister, Alliance Party leader David Ford, has announced that former civil servant, Tony McCusker, will conduct the independent review into allegations made against Department of Justice civil servants by Sam Pollock when he resigned as Chief Executive at the NI Police Ombudsman. Full terms of reference of review here [pdf more…

“The [Justice] department dissolves on 1 May 2012 unless…”

As BBC NI political editor Mark Devenport reminds us, one of the oddities of our current ‘indigenous’ arrangements is that we can be fairly sure of one outcome of this election for the Alliance Party. As long as at least one member of that party is returned to the NI Assembly it’s virtually guaranteed that they more…

Truffles of power cause Ford indigestion

David Ford was on television last night denouncing the third mistaken prisoner release. Last month two people were released mistakenly. After the first mistaken release Ford ordered an enquiry. After the second release UUP leader Tom Elliott told Mr Ford: “Would the minister accept that in other places senior civil servants and indeed ministers have more…

Is it good enough for David Ford only to hold the ring?

The dissident threat and the Newtownabbey riots prompts me to ask: what impact is David Ford making as Minister of Justice? The conclusion would seem to be a modest one, compared to the massive controversy over devolving the justice and policing functions. I can’t help feeling that big issues are being ducked: viz: Are the more…

New NI Attorney General Sworn In

attorney generals office logo

As the BBC notes, Northern Ireland’s new Attorney General John Larkin was sworn in at the Royal Courts of Justice in Belfast today. After taking the oath, Mr Larkin pledged his full backing for the independence of barristers. “I intend to support our independent bar to the best of my ability,” he said. “What I more…