“This is our first report on this issue and work is ongoing..”

Back in October last year, when a depleted Assembly and Executive Review Committee set themselves a target date to complete their discussions on the devolution of policing and justice powers, it was suggested that Sinn Féin had pulled a fast one. But, as the Irish News reported yesterday, they’re still discussing it.

Matters such as the specific status and powers of any future justice minister were meant to be dealt with in the first phase of the committee’s work programme but DUP and Sinn Fein members yesterday voted to defer those decisions for their second report.

Despite what some might believe, fundamentally, nothing has changed since deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness told the Assembly in May 2008

“However, agreement between the political parties (as you well know) remains the key determinant before detailed steps can be taken to implement devolution of justice”

Also from the Irish News report

However, DUP committee chairman Jimmy Spratt said many of the main issues had been dealt with.

“This is our first report on this issue and work is ongoing,” the South Belfast MLA said.

“We will look again at the outstanding issues when we begin work on the second phase of our work next week.”