J&P brought down to earth

Stephen Farry an MLA with a relevant academic background and a member of the Alliance party which is likely to provide the Minster for Justice, has argued recently for “a new focus on finding local solutions (that could make NI) become world leader in aspects criminal justice”. No harm in aiming high Stephen, so I thought I’d list a just a few of the J&P topics that confront a proudly restored Executive and Assembly, with a Justice minister in post. The raw material is in the NIO’s discussion paper. They will have to bring it to political life. Can they measure up? See below the fold. ? Firm decision on a revised parades regime
? Full Executive collective responsibility for all J&P matters
? Guarantee operational independence of crime agencies, police, probation service etc in ministerial code?
? New protocol needed for emergency Army and other UK intervention or is it is entirely an operational matter for the Chief Constable?
? An Assembly committee to scrutinise and feed in local intelligence (in both sense of the term) to minister and Executive.
? Replace the Policing Board with PSNI accountability to the new regime of ministry and Assembly?
? Agreement on MI5 accountability, reserved by UK. No more “securocrat” complaints?
? Decision needed soon on whether to end 50:50 police recruitment
? Clarify PSNI role in restorative justice
? Forge closer links with district policing partnerships and improve their performance
? Instigate a criminal law review for NI conditions
? New Equality Act, Bill of Rights or code to underpin rights and responsibilities?
? Assembly committee to interview (but not ratify) senior judges on appointment?

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London