Justice Minister must be inside the Executive and allocated by D’Hondt

We all want to see an urgent and satisfactory resolution to the deadlock over the devolution policing and justice. Some of the rumours emanating from the talks, however, are worrying.

I blogged earlier in the week about how Sinn Fein seemed happy to negotiate away a nationalist seat and the executive table. Today there are rumours that the new minister may not even be a member of the executive. This is a recipe for disaster. It hands an effective veto to the extremes. It weakens the common ground and will lead to future crisis.

Sinn Fein and the DUP should get back to the basic principles of power sharing and rerun D’Hondt to reallocate all eleven departments. This will ensure all executive departments are allocated in accordance with the mandates of those entitled to hold them and guarantee both communities are properly represented around the executive table.

Anything less will set a dangerous precedent and do nothing to build long term confidence in our institutions of government.