“justice, with a small j..”

Picking up on a report by Chris Thornton in the Belfast Telegraph, the BBC NI political editor Mark Devenport has blogged a suggestion for a possible solution to the still undecided structure of any devolved ministry for policing and justice..

“Is there a solution to the standoff over completing devolution here? Could we get a new department of justice, with a small j to appeal to nationalists and a gov.uk address to keep unionists happy? Perhaps it could be jointly led by a Justice minister and another justice Minister…..”

It would, of course, still leave the issue of the timing..

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  • Danny O’Connor

    There might be another way.transfer powers to the assembly and seperate the justice element by having a Chief Justice as opposed to a minister for Justice.In that was he could still be responsible to the assembly by having a justice committee.

  • perci

    expect “sunset clauses” and preparatory commitees for the devolution of police and justice.

    If anything we know about the Brits its how to circumvent time-lines and deadlines; and apply flexibility to things set in stone.
    Masters of diplomacy; bridge-playing, and disengagement.

  • Pete Baker


    Worthwhile reading the links, perhaps, to see why Mark has suggested his possible solution.


    Missing the point about that ‘target date’.

  • Danny O’Connor

    Thanks Pete,I was just suggesting that some sort of fudge may be used to get people off the hook.

  • OK, a totally off-the-wall thought: if/when transfer does happen, will ‘on-going’ commitments fall on the devolved budget?

    If so, there’s some expensive items in there. And not just financially.

  • perci

    we’ll see peteb, 6 weeks is still a long time in.. you know the cliche

  • Pete Baker

    No, perci, you’re still missing the point.

  • perci

    I’m aware of the changing nature of Reality peteb, fluidity, and the impact of events.
    Sometimes I feel you miss that.
    Where do you factor that in?

  • majordolittle

    Red Herring, and SF know it.
    Security, defence, the works will still lie with the MoD and MI5. But lets go softly here, we don’t want to upset the applecart. 5000 British Army garrison, big new MI5 hq, don’t upset the shinners. They have swallowed the British rule bait, hook line and sinker. But please don’t mention it in polite republican circles.
    Well done Gerry and Martin. Terence o Neill will smile down. They followed the money. So easy when you think about it. Now can we all get on with bread and butter politics within the UK context, given that the “Irish” dimension is window dressing.
    The SF students at Queens must feel like the SWP idiots a decade ago.
    So it goes

  • Comrade Stalin


    SF are now conducting themselves as democrats. What’s there to complain about ?

  • Danny, do you mind if I use the upper case D? 😉

    Perhaps they’ll go the victims route and have a justice commission.

  • Malcolm, IIRC a £100 million plus hole has appeared in the policing budget. I think that probably means a further reduction in ‘community policing’, the closure of small police stations and a ‘retreat from the periphery’. The paramilitary godfathers and the hoods will have even less to fear.

  • The Third Policeman

    Perhaps they’ll go the victims route and have a justice commission.

    Why am I reminded of DC Comic’s Justice League?

    Anyone catch Newton Emerson’s take on the whole thing in Thursday’s Irish News and how the Shinners could use Frank McGreevy’s death as a stick to beat the DUP with?

  • perci

    That’s a fine article by Newt Nevin, ties alot of issues together.

  • [aside]We went NUTS on March 17. You have until May 12 to submit your big idea!!