One source

Some detail on policing and justice proposals (single source):
Justice minister by cross-community vote with a sunset clause May 2012 (by my reckoning this potentially covers the present and next term of the assembly). It will then be part of the general review of all the assembly’s systems (which includes D’hondt). Extract from letter below.
The Judicial Appointments Commission will appoint and remove judges (not OFM/DFM)
A process paper on the legislation needed at Westminster and the Assembly but no time scale (with references to public consultation and securing public confidence).

Sunset clause:

“The following arrangements would be subject to a sunset clause which would bring them to an end not later than May 2012. Following a period of operation they would be reviewed in light of the experience. Permanent arrangements would then be put in place by 2012. There would be no fall-back arrangements in place and there would therefore be a necessity for the parties to agree a way forward by this time.”

CONFIRMED The Executive is to meet on Thursday and weekly after that to clear the backlog. UPDATE Further confirmation of the details here, the process will involve the appointment of an Attorney General for Northern Ireland, with the likely candidate John Larkin QC.

  • cynic

    I’m not sure. Is this DUP 1-0 SF or a win for all of us?

    I hope the latter

  • Ann

    sunset clause May 2012

    Presumably by which time the unionist community will have confidence to see such powers devolved?

    Doesn’t look like SF got anything more than was on offer that wasn’t on offer before the stalemate of 52 weeks.

  • autocue

    DUP win.

    So much for Allister’s bull about judicial appointments.

  • Looks like GA in the US was preparing his adoring fans for failure after all.

  • cynic

    The SF reverse of ‘walk quietly and carry a big stick’ but, what the hell, it looks like movement forward for us all …… so let’s see the fine detail and then see if this lot (all of them) can actually govern rather than posture.

  • Grassy Noel

    Touche, Malachi. But very true from the sound of it.

    Does this mean he is out of step with the rest of SF – and that they’ve moved to realign behind someone else?

    Very, very interesting. Methinks G is on his last legs…

  • Plagiarising Teenage Catholic

    It says a lot about the posters who have all jumped in here claiming a DUP victory without knowing any of the details. Take a bow Mal. This was about the devolution of P&J;. It looks like the DUP have agreed to do devolve the powers and without their demand that the minister be elected “at all times” directly from the Assembly. By all means claim that as a victory for the DUP or failure for SF but it does look a little silly.

  • Mark

    No detail why but the Tele is pitching it as devloution of policing and justice in months –

    Here

    Now

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Robbo has jumped/was pushed – and he deserves credit for that. Is Dodsie under sedation or has he just been locked up somewhere in Stormo?

  • kensei

    I don’t buy there isn’t any forward movement for SF necessarily – having a process laid out with checkpoints is progress. But if there is no date anywhere then they’ve just made the same mistake twice and the judicial appointments is big one — why exactly should elected leaders not have a say on the matter? If this doesn’t turn up a second time then SF should get some punishment. I just hope this doesn’t mean another year of PB going on and on about the same thing constantly.

    Does this cover simply P&J;or is there movement on other issues too?

  • pith

    Robinson’s desperation was always going to be SF’s trump card.

  • kensei

    Mark

    I would guess that is how it has been briefed. The question is — by who? I await unsourced quotes form the DUP saying otherwise.

    If it does get devolved in the coming months, then I’d say it’s a score draw with the lack of date in the proposals a Cuban Missile crisis-like face saving way out for the DUP. If not, SF really do deserve a kicking.

  • Mark McGregor

    Anyone have an Irish News subscription?

    I’d love to know what professional misconduct the proposed Attorney General was guilty of.

  • Driftwood

    This will have little impact on the vast majority of people. How can it be seen as a ‘victory’ for anyone. Surely public annoyance at the lack of activity at stormont was the impetus for this. Whatever ‘this’ turns out to be.

  • Why am I still a UUP voter?

    I think the only thing more absurd that the tinny sound of Provette bluster – it was a *total* defeat girls – on this thread is the idea that John Larkin is fit to be Attorney General: http://www.irishnews.com/searchlog.asp?reason=denied_empty&script;_name=/pageacc.asp&path;_info=/pageacc.asp&tser1=ser&par=ben&sid=501319 – it’s never going to happen.

  • Oligomer

    Correct me if I’m wrong:

    Before the DUP said they supported polcing and justice, at some time in the future, when the circumstances were right; but they wouldn’t be tied to a firm date.

    Today they have agreed to policing and justice, at some time in the future, when the circumstances are right; but they have refused to be tied to a firm date.

    So Sinn Fein stalled the Executive for 5 months to achieve what exactly? What has actually happened is that Sinn Fein have backed down and basically agreed to continue the status quo.

  • JJ

    i am not sure how sinn fein will sell this to their people! they wanted a date, they blocked the exec for 5 months for what? no date? and john larkin as attorney general…the same john larkin that has represented the dup on numerous occassions???? this is a clear dup win!

  • Disgruntled Nationalist

    Sinn Fein yet again have been out negociated by the DUP. They have gained nothing and given the DUP the ipper hand. Who needs majority unionist rule when you have Sinn Fein as the largest nationalist party

  • bisto

    I look forward to hearing the TUV hail this Unionist success.

  • Grassy Noel

    Disgruntled Nationalist reminds me of those letters that used to appear in the Telegraph signed ‘Falls Road Roman Catholic’

  • Plagiarising Teenage Catholic

    “and john larkin as attorney general…the same john larkin that has represented the dup on numerous occassions????”

    The same John Larkin who was professor in TCD (that’s Dublin) and has represented SF on occasion. The spin of the unionist lemmings on here is hilarious – in their desperation to claim a victory they’re clutching at invisible straws (Larkin), missing the facts (P&J;devolved with sunset clause) and ignoring the details (the date to be ascertained).

    It matters not one iota if a date hasn’t been given now – Robbo couldn’t have survived with one – but that P&J;will be devolved soon. If not the plug gets pulled – about that now, the DUP will be in little doubt.

  • jone

    Here’s Larkin’s misconduct charge…it’s the legal equivalent of a spat in the office. Basically he didn’t want to work with someone who he didn’t think was up to the job.

    And JJ you’re barking up the wrong tree, Larkin has represented all sorts of public figures from varied political backgrounds including Gerry Adams. It’s what happens when you’re a leading barrister of Public Law.

    “A leading Belfast barrister has been fined £5,000 for professional misconduct. John Larkin QC, has also been censured by his own professional body and ordered to pay legal costs of £2,850.

    Mr Larkin was found guilty by the NI Bar Council’s Disciplinary Committee on two charges of professional misconduct.

    They related to his refusal to accept instructions from a solicitor to act in a case if another barrister – who has not been named – was to remain as junior counsel, resulting in the junior barrister’s instructions being withdrawn.

    The case only became public in a statement announcing the appeal had been dismissed.

    In the statement, displayed on the public notice board in the High Court in Belfast, the Disciplinary Appeal Committee said it had found both charges proved and affirmed the findings of the Disciplinary Committee.

    Lord Carswell, former lord chief justice, chairman of the appeal committee, said Mr Larkin’s breaches of his obligations to accept a brief and to maintain good relations with the other barrister were serious and substantial.

    “The gravamen of the breaches is that Mr Larkin carried his failure to maintain good relations with the other barrister to such a length that he declined to accept a brief in a matter in which the other was already instructed and thereby brought about the withdrawal of his instructions, which he realised would be a likely consequence of his action.

    “Causing another counsel to be dropped from a case of which he was already seized … is quite unacceptable.”

    On top of the £5,000 fine, Mr Larkin was ordered to pay the costs of the original hearing before the Disciplinary Committee capped at £2,500 and a further £350 in costs of the appeal.

  • Half Pint

    “DUP win.

    So much for Allister’s bull about judicial appointments.”

    Who appoints the Judicial Appointments Commission? As the law stands, its OFMDFM. Plus, the letter issued by the First Ministers says:
    “We are minded that John Larkin QC be invited to become Attorney General”

    Total sell out. Allister will have a field day.

  • autocue

    PTC

    How exactly would the DUP be in any doubt about what SF would do? They huffed and puffed, but failed to blow the house down. Robinson has unceremoniously faced them down.

    No date.
    Unionist veto intact.
    Single ministry.
    Triple lock intact.
    Larkin as AG.
    No political interferance in appointment of judges.

    Just who is the lemming PTC. Unionists can spot a sell-out from miles away, having been conditioned by previous UUP leaders, what a shame the love of Gerry has clouded your vision…..

  • autocue

    Half Pint.

    I don’t think even you believe that. Still I suppose that’s what the TUV stands for – opposition for oppositions sake. Incidentally do you agree with Mel Lucas disrespecting the memory of those who died for our country?

  • 2009

    I agree, P&J;to be devolved next year and if not the Assembly goes capput. If it does SF will pull the plug directly without any Executive suspension and the DUP will be the fallguy.

    That being said I think the DUP will now go ahead with P&J;and face down the TUV. Robinson does not want to be associated with a failed Assembly, he wants it to be a success and will work constructively and agree to devolution of P&J;as long as adequate finance is available.

    This is a Sinn Féin success, it is a good news story all around and a backing down by the DUP in regard to ‘no policing and justice being devolved in a political lifetime’. It is suitably temporary (2012) to suit SF. It ensures devolution and doesnt block republicans from policing and justice powers in the medium term

  • Carson’s Cat

    Plagarising Teenage Catholic
    “The same John Larkin who was professor in TCD (that’s Dublin) and has represented SF on occasion. The spin of the unionist lemmings on here is hilarious -“

    Err, AFAIK its John Larkin QC who has represented the DUP on several occasions, as well as Jeffrey Donaldson prior to his leaving the Ulster Unionist Party and Bertha McDougall.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/3046016.stm

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/2050631.stm

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/2049897.stm

    http://www.madden-finucane.com/the_firm/news/irish_news/2005december10.htm

  • ??

    This is a Sinn Féin success, it is a good news story all around and a backing down by the DUP in regard to ‘no policing and justice being devolved in a political lifetime’. It is suitably temporary (2012) to suit SF. ………..

    The DUP have always said it wanted P+J, but at a time of their choosing, that stays the same.

    In 2012 will the bearded one be amongst us i wonder

  • Carson’s Cat

    2009
    “This is a Sinn Féin success, it is a good news story all around and a backing down by the DUP in regard to ‘no policing and justice being devolved in a political lifetime’.”

    Unfortunately your quotes are about as reliable as Jim Allister’s.

    The “political lifetime” issue was in relation to Sinn Fein holding that ministerial office. It was nice of course of Sinn Fein to ensure that the Triple Lock is still in place and the DUP can block that SF Minister for a lifetime, or as long as they choose.

    Lets remember where SF started on all of this. They wanted 2 Departments, with 2 Ministers (The Junior Ministers being their choice) and there had to be a timetable for the devolution to take place – May 08 being the time if I remember correctly.

    Of course now they’ve got 1 Department and 1 Minister, with no SF involvement and a DUP veto to ensure that. There will be no political role in the appointment of judges and even with all that there’s still no timetable for the powers to be actually devolved.

    Valiant attempt by the shinners on here to look on the positive side, but there aren’t that many positives to push really from a republican point of view.

  • Plagiarising Teenage Catholic

    autocue,

    No date – P&J;is to be devolved in the life of this Assembly, most likely within the next ten months.

    Unionist veto intact – yip the unionist veto got a lot of work done over the past few months.

    Single ministry – who cares? The economical option – you won’t hear me complain about that.

    Larkin as AG – see the other posts on Larkin

    No political interferance in appointment of judges – as in the other posts, the Judicial Appointments Commission will appoint judges and the Commission will be appointed by the OFM/ODFM.

    So in effect, what you got was no date, but have conceded a process with very definite dates. The DUP got nothing but the fig leaf of no initial date. Big deal. They’ve been chastised and conceded P&J;will be devolved with the possibility of Gerry Kelly getting the job in three years time. That sounds like some victory you had there – anymore of those and the Shinners will have to let you start winning more.

  • Carson’s Cat

    2009
    “I agree, P&J;to be devolved next year and if not the Assembly goes capput. If it does SF will pull the plug directly without any Executive suspension and the DUP will be the fallguy.”

    Apologies for the repeated posts but these issues need answered.

    Frankly if the Shinners pull the plug then it will highlight how rubbish their negotiations have been.

    Lets face it – SF agreed to St Andrews which didn’t put a timetable in place then. I think Pete Baker has pointed that out on here time and time again. They’ve agreed to the single Minster etc etc. They’ve also now agreed again to a situation where there’s still no timetable.

    If you don’t think that questions will be asked about SF’s ability to deliver on anything if they were to pull the plug then you’re a little more optimistic than me. They’re on the verge of becoming the nationalist Trimbles as it is. He was so powerless to deliver anything for the unionist community that the only tactic he could use was to bring down devolution (and be punished for it). For political rolemodels I’d hardly be looking to the purple turtle for inspiration.

  • jone

    Errr all this ‘John Larkin QC, friend of the DUP’ stuff is desperate bollocks.

    There’s a thing called the cab rank rule which is relevant.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cab_rank_rule

    Furthermore he’s an old boy of Glen Road CBS and has spent a large part of his career up to his arse in various pinko Human Rights matters.

  • Half Pint

    Well the DUP propaganda unit really have gone into overdrive on this thread.

    No date – so political lifetime then? It’ll be in months.
    Unionist veto intact – shot to pieces come 2012. Republicans are used to playing the long game.
    Single ministry – so what? Did Nationalists demand two? If so, when?
    Triple lock intact – in name only. The DUP have signaled they are prepared to role over and that very soon.
    Larkin as AG – how’s that a win for Unionism? Plus he was recommended jointly by the First Ministers.
    No political interference in appointment of judges – see above. Plus, who appoints the Judicial Appointments Commission.

    Total capitulation. Prepare for more in the days to come.

  • Half Pint

    “Perhaps Mr Larkin did his chances no harm by having objected to the oath administered, swearing allegiance to the Queen, when he and I took silk!”

    http://www.jimallister.co.uk/default.asp?blogID=1274
    Some Unionist!

  • fair_deal

    Half Pint

    “who appoints the Judicial Appointments Commission.”

    The Lord Chancellor does:
    “The Lord Chief Justice has re-appointed the following nine individuals (profiles below) as Commissioners with effect from 15 June 2008.”
    http://www.nijac.org/Live/commissioners.htm

    “The Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2002 (c. 26) (“the 2002 Act”) is amended as set out in Schedule 1 for the purpose of transferring to the Lord Chancellor functions exercisable by the First Minister and deputy First Minister, acting jointly, in relation to the Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission.”
    As set out in the 2004 NI Justice Act
    http://www.opsi.gov.uk/Acts/acts2004/ukpga_20040004_en_1#pb1-l1g1

  • Carson’s Cat

    Plagarising Teenage Catholic
    “No date – P&J;is to be devolved in the life of this Assembly, most likely within the next ten months”

    There’s nothing which actually says that. The only thing which I can see is that the 2012 date implies that its likely to be devolved before that date, but the 10 month issue is pure speculation. It might be true, but NI has a habit of ensuring that things drag out for longer than expected by those who want it to happen more quickly.

    I suspect also the more talk there is of 10 months or anything else then the more chance that there will be people who’ll do their level best to ensure it takes much longer than that. Afterall, they’ve got no timetable to force them into anything.

    “Unionist veto intact – yip the unionist veto got a lot of work done over the past few months.”

    Unionists seem to have got most of the things they’ve wanted to do done within the Executive. What it has done however is prevent SF from bringing a few of their party political babies to fruition – hence no ILA etc etc. In terms of Policing & Justice issues I suspect that the status quo will be much more favourable to unionists than to nationalists and much less republicans. Hence the veto would be much more prized by unionists than nationalists.

    “Single ministry – who cares? The economical option – you won’t hear me complain about that.”

    Then why did SF get so excercised about it earlier? 2 Departments &/or 2 Ministers would have led to the ‘natural’ idea of one unionist and one nationalist – the SF ideal of the 2 Junior Ministers being in charge. It suits unionism and is cheaper – 2 birds with the one stone.

    “”Larkin as AG – see the other posts on Larkin”

    Given he seems to have represented the DUP in just about every case they’ve taken over the last 5 years I can’t imagine they’re too unhappy. Even if that one’s a score draw then where exactly are the SF ‘victories’ here?

    No political interferance in appointment of judges – as in the other posts, the Judicial Appointments Commission will appoint judges and the Commission will be appointed by the OFM/ODFM.”

    To the best of my knowledge the majority of the JAC are appointed by the Lord Chief Justice. The other members surely would have to go through the normal public appointment processes. Processes which political interference usually mean end up being challenged and re-appointments made.

    “So in effect, what you got was no date, but have conceded a process with very definite dates.”

    What are these dates specifically then? There are dates which people think will occur, but the DUP still have the “community confidence” in the unionist community issue which can mean that the triple lock stays in place until they say it is unlocked.

    “They’ve been chastised and conceded P&J;will be devolved with the possibility of Gerry Kelly getting the job in three years time.”

    You just don’t learn do you. Kelly will never be the Justice Minister. It’ll be decades before SF would even have a whiff of holding the Ministerial post – if they ever do. SF have effectively excluded themselves, certainly until the current crop of their Assembly team are well out of the picture I’d say anyway.

    Funny I read the Liam Clarke piece in the Newsletter this morning about the ceasefire and how the Falls Rd thought it mean there had been some ‘secret agreement’ by the “Brits” to a withdrawal and that Marty and Gerry would reveal all in time. He finished with the old saying that unionists often are too stupid to see they’ve won and nationalists are too clever to admit they’ve lost.

    The second part of that statement seems to be true – just hope that unionism doesn’t fall into the trap yet again.

  • Grassy Noel

    I win!

    No, I win!

    Burnside for leader!

    This thread is becoming hilarious.

  • richard

    half pint really is a crank! this is clearly a DUP success – sinn fein have failed to get any of their objectives. The DUP are still totally in control of when these powers will be devloved – and can block any nationalist getting the post!

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Anyone heard from Dodsie?

  • fair_deal

    Half pint

    Sorry first line should have read LCJ and Lord Chancellor with this second quote too.

    “The Lord Chancellor has also appointed Mr Donal Flanagan, OBE, to be a Lay Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission.”

  • autocue

    Damn you Fair Deal you bet me to it! The Lord Chief Justice appoints the majority of members to the JAC.

    I see no Allister has moved on to the Policing Board. Running out of road or what?

  • josephine

    to: it was sammy mcnally what done it: heh! heh! game, set and match to me! no date, a half-arsed process – some boot on some neck! go smoke some more of that weed, you’ll need it! heh! heh!

  • Half Pint

    F_D,
    No worries.

    autocue,
    Allister always made the point about the Policing Board – see page 2 http://www.jimallister.co.uk/uploads/Traditional_Unionist_Policing_and_Justice_document_285.pdf

  • Carson’s Cat

    Half Pint,
    I assume you mean he has a role nominating members other than the SF representatives who sit there as SF members……. I’ve always assumed that Adams picked Martina Anderson and Davy McKay to sit on the NIPB. After all, surely anyone else would have nominated people with some ability.

    This of course would be the same Policing Board which SF said they were going to use to “put manners” onto the Police. Something they’ve spectacularly failed to do. Allister might have raised it before, but the fact that he’s now having to retreat to effectively third-ranking objections show just how many of his complaints have been washed away. He’s been left without any clothes (now there’s a thought!).

  • autocue

    Even Sinn Fein aren’t claiming they will have a say in the appointment of judges – the only person bigging that claim up is Allister.

  • Half Pint

    autocue,
    “Even Sinn Fein aren’t claiming they will have a say in the appointment of judges – the only person bigging that claim up is Allister.”
    Read the letter issued by the First Ministers.

    CC,
    Sir Edward wouldn’t have you about the place so stop beseeching his name.

    You are denying MMG, as First Minister, will have power over appointments to the PB then?

  • autocue

    I have read the letter signed by the First Minister and the deputy First Minister (I assume that’s the letter you mean?) and what it indicates to me is that Jim Allister is talking rubbish in relation to judicial appointments.

  • Carson’s Cat

    Half Pint,
    Unfortunately you aren’t going to be able to inspire the ghost of Edward Carson to defend your rubbish arguments. Get daddy to lend you a hand though – he’s rummaging through the filing cabinet trying to come up with some new objections to things at the minute!

    It is interesting that the TUVvies have apparently conceded the judicial appointments issue to move on and focus on the Policing Board. A body which can only hold the police to account ex post facto. They don’t control operational decisions of the Police – the Chief Contable does. They have some say in the allocation of policing budgets so Marty’s appointments may get to decide on what new computers are bought by the police some year.

    Excuse me if your bogey-man is starting to look a little ridiculous.

  • x

    This thread should rename itself – Gunsmoke and Mirrors – aka Henry McDonald’s recent book. The only really important bit though is the subtitle – is it Sinn fein dressing up defeat as victory or the DUP

    Personally I’ll wait till the smoke clears – my only thought is those who are creating the most smoke – on this occasion the DUP may have the most to hide!

  • autocue

    Half Pint

    Complaining about Shinners on the PB is as smart as complaining about Shinners on DPPs. Refresh my memory, did Unionism not demand for years that SF engage with the police?

  • Half Pint

    autocue,
    Why does it contain the line “We would be minded that John Larkin QC be invited to become Attorney General” then?

  • skullion

    This thread is the most pathetic,purile,infantile load of nonsense i’ve ever come across.We won,no we won,oh no you didn’t oh yes we did.Fuck sake grow up you muppets!

  • autocue

    Half Pint

    Care to address the point re DPPs?

    You know as well as I do that your oul boy was going around the country telling people that Martin McGuinness was going to be responsible for appointing high court judges. It is clearly false to claim that.

  • Carson’s Cat

    HP
    “Why does it contain the line “We would be minded that John Larkin QC be invited to become Attorney General” then?”

    I would suspect its because the appointment hasn’t been made yet – and because they can hardly go ahead to make the appointment given there isn’t any timetable in place as to when he might be expected to take up the post.

  • Ann

    The we won, no we won attitude is going to become extremely important in the next few days, once journalists weigh up who gave most and got what. It’ll be important too, for the party faithful. Theres no doubt, immature or not, there will be a day of reckoning over this, and with the public for holding up matters for nearly four months. Especially after the banking crisis, and now the economic crisis, which they can now turn their attention to. Perhaps on thursday providing it doesn’t interfere with bernie mcguinness’ wedding anniversary celebrations, in which case the country will have to wait.

    Tell people to grow up isn’t entirely constructive when we have a load of politicians that are so immature, its they that need to do the growing up.

  • Mark McGregor
  • Mark McGregor

    It may not be a timetable but it certainly looks like a process to achieve devolution.

    http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/policing-and-juctice-process-paper.pdf

  • autocue

    Mark

    Process yes! Timetable no! That is the key point!

  • Half Pint

    autocue,
    Aw sure who cares about anything? Just go along with anything the DUPes tell you. I mean why would anyone think for themselves when Peter Robinson can do it for them?

    CC,
    “I would suspect its because the appointment hasn’t been made yet”
    Yes, they would hardly do so AFTER the appointment was made. The point is, what does it tell you about the role of the First Ministers in this process?

    Come to think of it, remember the trouble another DUP minister got into when she was minded to do something?

  • autocue

    You don’t get off that easy. Any response to the points put to you? Is it true or false for Jim Allister to assert that McGuinness will have a hand in judicial appointments. That is what he was saying when the TUV launched their poisonous wee leaflet on the issue. Has he been proven wrong? I know blood is thicker than water, but try thinking for yourself Phil.

  • skullion

    Ann
    The Northern Ireland Executive is not going to solve either the banking nor the economic crises.And come the day of reckoning we’ll just vote the way we’ve always done.Scary stuff indeed.

  • Dec

    Theres no doubt, immature or not, there will be a day of reckoning over this, and with the public for holding up matters for nearly four months. Especially after the banking crisis, and now the economic crisis, which they can now turn their attention to.

    At least the public will now realise there’s diddly squat the Assembley can do about it. Though as a afficiendo of humour down the ages I will miss local politicos urging the DUP & SF to go back to work to ‘fix the global credit crunch’.

  • Carson’s Cat

    Mark McGregor
    “It may not be a timetable but it certainly looks like a process to achieve devolution.”

    Well of course – it was hardly going to be a process not to achieve devolution, particularly given both parties have said they want to see it delivered.

    Of course, processes can take differing lengths of time to achieve things, and in Northern Ireland they usually don’t work quickly.

    For the DUP I’ve assumed its the “get it right, not quick” attitude which was prevailing. The ‘process’ agreed still allows that. They can keep working on it for as long as necessary till everything is in place.

  • Opened eyes

    who won – who cares?
    Clearly this thread has been taken over by SF and DUP members.

    Surely does the devolution of P&J;not add another department to the long list of departments that the fools on the hill can’t run?

    Think today was just aimed at keeping those juicy pay cheques and expense claims rolling in.

    Nothing to do with actual politics and looking after the people of this small insignificant place.

    Get real

  • Half Pint

    autocue,
    For the umpteenth time I am not Phil Allister.

    “Is it true or false for Jim Allister to assert that McGuinness will have a hand in judicial appointments?”

    It is most certainly true. Look at the letter

  • fair_deal

    Half Pint

    “It is most certainly true. Look at the letter ”

    How is it true? It says the JAC will make appointments etc and that is appointed by the LCJ and Lord Chancellor not McGuinness.

  • Half Pint

    f_d,

    If the First Ministers don’t have a role in the appointment of senior judges why have they issued a letter saying they are minded that Larkin be invited to become AG?

  • blinding

    Personally I’ll wait till the smoke clears – my only thought is those who are creating the most smoke – on this occasion the DUP may have the most to hide!

    Posted by x

    You are right it is much too soon to decide if there are winners and losers.
    It is much more important to see if this is good for Northern Ireland and Ireland as a whole.

  • autocue

    Agreement on one appointment is not what Jim Allister was talking about when he wrote his leaflet on this subject as you very well know.

    http://www.jimallister.org/default.asp?blogID=1154

    Compare what he said in that document with your incessant whinging about Larkin and indeed your earlier comments in this discussion regarding the JAC – apparently appointed by OFMDFM – shown to be nothing more than a TUV lie.

  • West Belfast

    P&J;will be devolved – before the EU election. Thats all Ive to say – say it aint so all you want. Lets wait and see who is right.

    2012 – former IRA POW Gerry Kelly has taken over as Minister of Justice. One of his first actions on taking office was …. hee hee!!

  • fair_deal

    HP

    “If the First Ministers don’t have a role in the appointment of senior judges why have they issued a letter saying they are minded that Larkin be invited to become AG?”

    AFAIK the AG isn’t a senior judge neither is it an answer to my question. Was your point that it is a senior law official?

    As for the AG stuff it is one of the lines I’d personally like more information on.

  • michael

    There was a story carried in the English papers recently that people with criminal convictions will soon be allowed to join the police. It isn’t a big stretch from this to allowing someone with so-called criminal convictions here to become a minister for justice.

  • Half Pint

    “shown to be nothing more than a TUV lie”

    Show one thing in that document – just one – that isn’t supported by documentary evidence.

    DUP members / supporters should be very cautious about calling opponents liars.

  • George

    An Attorney General is not a judicial appointment. The AG has absolutely nothing to do with the judiciary.

    I would assume his role is similar to the one in the Republic’s namely as “the adviser of the Government in matters of law and legal opinion”.

  • Carson’s Cat

    Not the best source (I admit) but this might shed more light on what the role of the Attorney General is.

    Not a judicial appointment by any stretch of the imagination:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attorney_General#United_Kingdom

  • truth and justice

    Allaister agreed to this when he was in the DUP so he cant really make capital out of it

  • joeCanuck

    Would I be the only one to suspect that Martin has a firm committed date from Peter as part of a handshake deal?

  • cynic

    Some of the TUV drones on here don’t even recognise a victory when they see one. On balance SF is stuffed on their firm demands but given some real concessions.

    No firm commitment on dates yet – but there will and should be in all our interests. Progress on some of SFs agenda but not in the way they would want on everything. A sensible compromise…..you can see why Allister is upset.

    Now can we please all get on with real life and things that really matter to people here like jobs and health and selling as much as we can to all those Southerners taking advantage of the low pound!!!

    PS what’s the betting that we see Catriona sidelined soon? They wont want anything derailing the new cosier atmosphere

  • Nothing New Here

    “There was a story carried in the English papers recently that people with criminal convictions will soon be allowed to join the police. It isn’t a big stretch from this to allowing someone with so-called criminal convictions here to become a minister for justice. ”

    Sure isn’t there a statue of a terrorist who accepted arms from the U.K.’s enemy in front of Stormont?

  • Granni Trixie

    Is the way this appointment of Attorney General was made, legal?

    But at least on this occasion they have not gone through the charade of advertising the post and having to appear to consider, on merit, women, ethnic minorities, disabled people etc .

    Also: is the announcement today more a case of putting up a flag to see who salutes before making an appointment?

    Another question arises – can a well paid QC financially afford to take on a lesser paid AG job?

  • joeCanuck

    Granni,
    Once you are filthy rich (check the bank balances of the barristers appearing before the Bloody Sunday Inquiry), you can afford to work for free .

  • graduate

    My my, hasn’t half pint got his knickers in a right old twist? Going on his reaction I’d say it’s a clear DUP win and his daddy just got run over in Europe- oops

  • edward

    DUP short term gain long term pain

    SF wee stitch in the side but leading the marathon

  • Comrade Stalin

    This is a positive development, such that it is. The main thing that I’m reading into this is that the local parties seem to have sorted this out themselves, rather than the governments getting involved. That’s got to be a good start.

    I’m not sure how Sinn Fein supporters can pat themselves on the back for their “victory”. They have now allowed the DUP to step over their red line over the devolution of policing and justice powers. There is no commitment here to a timetable and there is plenty of scope for the DUP to drag things out beyond next April, and probably until after the European elections. Sinn Fein’s negotiators, by accepting this arrangement, have actually legitimized the DUP’s interpretation of the StAA’s requirements concerning the timetable for devolving policing and justice powers.

    If Sinn Fein supporters want to dress this climbdown by their party up as a victory, I’m happy to take that and call it a good thing. I’m glad they have seen sense and decided to drop their pointless boycott.