“committed to upholding the rule of law even if he disagrees with it in a particular instance..”

It’s some way from a final decision but interesting to note that DUP MLA Ian Paisley Jnr may ultimately face a charge of civil contempt for not revealing the identity of a senior prison officer who, in relation to the Wright Inquiry, “told of an alleged policy within the Northern Ireland Prison Service to destroy a large number of files as an emergency due to data protection legislation”.

During a preliminary debate over how to characterise the proceedings John Larkin QC, for the Inquiry, argued that they were civil. Backing this view, Mr Justice Gillen said the focus was on obtaining the information rather than on the punishment.

Although the judge emphasised that he had an entirely open mind about how the case will be ultimately determined, he said if any enforcement steps were taken and failed to secure compliance the “dual nature of civil contempt will come into play”. “At that stage the High Court will have a very substantial interest in seeing that any order it makes must be upheld – if necessary by committal to prison for contempt. “But that stage is far from being reached at this point and in my view is not the primary purpose of Section 36 [of the Inquiries Act].”

Other inquiries, and other witnesses’ testimonies, didn’t fall under the Inquiries Act..

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  • percy

    pete
    you always get the juicy stories.
    having fun?

  • Sorry: stuff it.

    This evening, in a “daicent” part of Portadown, an elderly, lovely, caring lady was attacked in her own home by three despicable thieving bastards. They forced entry. Her possessions were ransacked.

    Now tell me about “upholding the rule of law”.

    And, yes, she was my mother-in-law.

    God damn this pathetic excuse for a statelet. Anywhere else it would be news.

  • Dave

    I’m sorry to hear that, Malcolm. I hope she doesn’t take too long to recover from the shock and distress of having her home and violated in that awful manner. It might also be wise to invest in some home security devices for her in case she wants to move in with you at some future point! At any rate, send her a large bunch of her favourite flowers.

  • Rory

    Mr Paisley is at least to be congratulated for his refusal to name his source from within the Prison Service. Should it later be required of him that he does name his source on pain of penalty for contempt we must all urge him to stick to his guns. Integrity that is not worth suffering for is not worth anything.

    I am sorry, Malcolm, to hear of the distress visited on your mother-in-law. I understand your anger against the place and inhabitants of where she lives but unfortunately it is not confined to Portadown, nor indeed to Northern Ireland, the young wife of a friend of mine suffered a similar attack in her home in the quiet conservation area by St Albans cathedral on a summer mid- morning this year. Contrarily in sunny-Tottenham-by-the-Lea, although burglaries and street robberies are commonplace such that at least once a week one acquaintance or other will have suffered, home invasions while a resident is in situ are rare. This may be that it is commonly accepted that most residents keep a basball bat handy, just in case, and would be willing to use it.

  • Bmused

    Malcolm – as someone who works in the ‘justice’ system my advice would be this: next time you hear a politician, police officer or lawyer talking about a ‘multi-agency approach’ or ‘proportionality’ or ‘rehabilitative sentencing’ or any of the other risible buck-passing guff that these clowns tend to spout on an on-going basis, take your anger out on them. People who carry out the type of offence you’ve described belong in prison. If, after a spell in prison they continue to offend then they should be returned to prison for a substantial (and by ‘substantial’ most normal people mean more than ten years) period of time. While ‘rehabilitation’ is a very laudable aim, (a) it can be safely carried out in prison and (most importantly and self-evidently in my view) (b) people in prison cannot offend against the community. Unfortunately, the criminal justice system (backed to the hilt on this by the New Labour vermin) have conspicuously and systematically ignored these simple facts over the course of the last ten years.

    Regards to your mother-in-law.

  • Rory

    Unfortunately, the criminal justice system (backed to the hilt on this by the New Labour vermin) have conspicuously and systematically ignored these simple facts over the course of the last ten years.

    Even more unfortunately for your assertion, Bmused, the Prison Reform Trust reports that “The number of people sentenced to life each year has almost doubled in the past ten years”. Seems as if the ‘get tough’ policy isn’t working. Doesn’t it?

  • 6countyprod

    MR
    in a “daicent” part of Portadown

    Not sure where that would be exactly, Churchill Park, Union Street?

    God damn this pathetic excuse for a statelet. Anywhere else it would be news.

    Victor might be able to help you out with a story in the local rag.

    (mailto:victor.gordon@portadowntimes.co.uk)

  • joeCanuck

    This couldn’t be the same Ian Paisley Jr. that we have frequently seen on TV bleating about the need for Law and Order, could it?
    You know, the one who is a member of the Police Board.

  • Dan’s Breen Revolver

    I’d rather have a former terrorist on the board of Policing then that jackass

    At least there is no ambiguity to their respect for Law and Order