The new ‘decommissioning’?

Over on Our Kingdom I argue that the devolution of policing and justice in the St Andrew’s Agreement has become the equivalent of decommissioning in the Belfast Agreement with the roles of Unionism and Republicanism reversed and that the recent deal faces two tests in 2009; the reaction of republicans if it does not happen as quickly as they predict e.g. Easter 09 and the electoral test of the European election in June 2009.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    What will be interesting, and is still unclear in the fog of ambiguity, is whether the panel which appoints the judges will itself be appointed by the assembly. Deputy Dodsy did not directly refute Tuv Jimbo’s claim on this on Hearts and Minds.

    I dont think anybody has explicitly clarified/confirmer this?

  • fair_deal

    ITWSMWDI

    “There will be no OFMDFM role in recommending who should be Lord Chief Justice, there will be no OFMDFM role on who should be Lord Justice of Appeal, there will be no OFMDFM role in the removal of judges, lay members of Judicial Appointments Commission are appointed till after review in 2012.”
    http://www.dup.org.uk/articles.asp?ArticleNewsID=408

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    Well the promise in the Queens speech is to legislate to restore devolution. In his debate comments in the commons Brown stated that there would be legislation to devolve policing and justice in the next few months. So it would seem that the deal is for it to go ahead pretty quickly.

    All for it myself but I didn’t get the impression from the DUP statements that the necessary public confidence was going to manifest itself so quickly.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Fair Deal

    “lay members of Judicial Appointments Commission are appointed till after review in 2012. ”

    Am I reading this correctly that these lay members appoint the judges?

    If so – who appoints these guys?

  • fair_deal

    sam

    “Am I reading this correctly that these lay members appoint the judges? If so – who appoints these guys? ”

    The JAC is made up of 13 people. It is chaired by the Lord Chief Justice. The Lord Chief Justice appoints 5 of the other commissioners 1 for each of the 5 judicial tiers. A commisioner is nominated by the Law Society and Bar Council respectively. There are five lay members of the JAC who were appointed by the Lord Chancellor and whose term will last until after 2012. The legal profession has a built in majority of 7 to 5 as well as control of the chair.

    Duncan

    The enabling legislation can be passed pretty easily but it still needs OFM/DFM and Assembly to ask for the process to be triggered. There is also the issue of the police and justice budget etc to be hammered out.

  • runciter

    The DUP seem to have negotiated well. Even if they are forced to accept devolution of P&J; (and they are still not tied to a specific date), they have successfully managed to persuade SF to collude in undermining D’Hondt and minimising nationalist representation.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Fair Deal,

    thanks for that – we know who does not appoint the Lord Chief Justice but who does – and where is that set out?

    How do we know that there is no proposed change to the make-up of the JAC or appointments procedure? The DUP do not seem explicit on this?

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    FD,

    Seems unlikely that the enabling legislation would be tabled in the absence of some idea of a timetable for devolution to take place. I think you are putting the best spin on that. It seems likely that an informal agreement as to timetabling probably exists and the legislation is to facilitate it in the near future.

  • fair_deal

    Sam

    “How do we know that there is no proposed change to the make-up of the JAC or appointments procedure?”

    Because so far no one has proposed such a change no one has claimed such a change has happened/will happen and there isn’t any mention of such change in the letters.

    DSD

    “Seems unlikely that the enabling legislation would be tabled”

    Why not they did it before with the powers of restoration of devolution in the absence of a deal?

    Maybe I am wrong, I’m not part of the inner sanctums but as I said I don’t think April is practical.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    fair_deal,

    there may be a reaon for the lack of clarity in the DUP statements about the appointments procedure.

    On my other point is it clear who appoints the Lord Chief Justice? and where is this set out?

  • fair_deal

    AFAIK it is all in the Justice acts. The 04 act amended the 02 act and transferred to the Lord Chancellor the powers that had been intended for OFM/DFM. This means the Queen appoints the LCJ on the recommendation of the Prime Minister who consults with the Lord Chancellor and NIJAC. The letters don’t outline any proposals for change on that and Robinson’s statement seems to be ruling out a change.

    If there is to be a change it’ll be in the Westminster which will no doubt be pored over in the New year.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Fair_Deal

    “The 04 act amended the 02 act and transferred to the Lord Chancellor the powers that had been intended for OFM/DFM.”

    Why did Robbo not just refer Jimbo to the fact that the law had been changed in 04 to counter his charge re. the Marty picking the judges. Will have a dig around on this.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    Actually I always supported the idea of the 5 non legal JAC members being nominated by the parties. At least that way everyone’s political bias is up front. The legal profession still have a built in majority, besides which the pool of potential appointees is being drawn from the senior bar so its a pretty select group.

  • fair_deal

    SM

    “Why did Robbo not just refer Jimbo to the fact that the law had been changed in 04”

    They have done in interviews