“and will bring Northern Ireland into line with the rest of the UK.”

The Northern Ireland Criminal Justice Minister, Paul Goggins, MP, has launched a 19 week long consultation on proposed new laws “to tackle unacceptable behaviour at sports grounds and events.” NI Sports Minister, Nelson McCausland, MLA, was also at the launch. Consultation document here, and “easy to read” summary [both pdf files]. From the NIO statement.

Paul Goggins said: “Our purpose is to help clubs and sporting bodies address unacceptable behaviour by a small minority of spectators who attend events only to cause trouble. “The proposed powers focus on issues including offensive chanting at games, missile throwing and pitch invasions, powers to tackle alcohol related problems around sporting events and ticket touting.

“The powers will include a soccer banning order regime that would prevent trouble makers from attending matches at home and abroad and will bring Northern Ireland into line with the rest of the UK.”

From the consultation document [pdf file]

1.5 The document describes the relevant laws currently in place in England and Wales and recommends the adoption of broadly similar arrangements in Northern Ireland. A number of important differences are proposed however to reflect circumstances in this jurisdiction. Those key differences are

o the extension of proposals (a) and (b) above to include relevant GAA and rugby matches, as well as soccer;

o the proposed soccer banning regime would apply only in association with a criminal conviction (a civil order is also possible in England and Wales); it would not require a separate Football Banning Authority for Northern Ireland; and it would not require passport surrender (it would operate purely by way of reporting to police at match times).

There are other proposed differences

Sectarianism, etc

4.11 The England and Wales chanting offence outlaws indecent and racialist words or sounds. “Racialist” means matter which is threatening, abusive or insulting to a person by reason of his colour, race, nationality (including citizenship) or ethnic or national origins. In addition to this, on equality grounds, in Northern Ireland we propose to include in the scope of the offence chanting that is sectarian or which targets a person’s sexuality or disability.

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  • fin

    Jesus wept, did anyone read these documents before releasing them, the grammar, spelling everything is sooooooooo shite.

    racialist, do you mean racist by any chance.

    a GCSE student would be expected to have a better grasp of the English language.

    DCAL includes the Arts, libraries and ‘linguistic operations’ and this was allowed to be made public, fuckin hell

  • michael

    “racialist, do you mean racist by any chance”

    Racialist tends to be mostly used by rascists in order to espouse rascist views, without sounding like racsists.

    Kinda like the ology at the end of phrenology.

  • GH

    Hmm, so it’s a good thing to bring NI into line with the rest of the UK before crime and justice are devolved in relation to male, I mean sporting, matters but not ok to bring NI into line with the rest of the UK in relation to women’s bodies (see other thread re abortion rights).
    Plus ca change!

  • Rory Carr

    new laws “to tackle unacceptable behaviour at sports grounds and events.”

    Good! I do so hope that this means that at last someone is going to do something about the garish clothing worn by the golfing fraternity which for so long has been such an outrageous assault upon good taste.

  • joeCanuck

    will bring Northern Ireland into line with the rest of the UK.

    You beat me to it.

  • blandy

    I hope this isnt aimed at banning beer at ravenhill. There is never bother at ravers – why should rugby fans suffer because of wankers at football matches?

  • George

    “into line with the rest of the UK”

    That’s all that matters. It’s irrelevant if the story is to do with the size of bananas on sale in Sunday markets or the height of four-storey buildings built on corners, as long as it’s in “line with the rest of the UK” it’s a sure indicator that things are going in the right direction.

  • Pete Baker

    “That’s all that matters.”

    No George. It’s just part of the quote from Paul Goggins.

    The proposals are all readily available in the linked documents.

    And anyone is free to raise any points they have with those proposals.

    Personally, I think including “in the scope of the offence chanting” which targets a person’s disability is unnecessary in the relevant circumstances.

    *The ref’s blind!*

    But it’s a sign of the completeness “on equality grounds” that the new law has been designed for – rather than a restriction that is necessary and/or desireable.