New NI Attorney General Appointed, Queries Missing Powers

Nominated as the new Northern Ireland Attorney General in November 2008, John Larkin was finally appointed today.  UTV has his initial “grateful” comments.  But the BBC notes that he’s already noticed that something’s missing…

Unlike his direct rule predecessor, Mr Larkin will not have any powers of supervision over the Public Prosecution Service.

“It’s something that should be urgently looked at I think,” Mr Larkin said.

“The decisions about unduly lenient sentences, about other forms of statutory obligation, which were taken by the attorney are no longer taken by the attorney.

“So the reason for that isn’t entirely clear to me at least.”

Were those powers devolved?

Adds I don’t see them listed as an exception… But if they were devolved, who’s got them?

Update From the UK Attorney General’s Office website

From 12 April 2010 the Attorney General also no longer oversees the functions of the DPP for Northern Ireland.

So, who does?

Further  Elsewhere, the “Attorney General has power to ask the Court of Appeal to review some sentences which she thinks are unduly lenient. If the Court of Appeal agrees with the Attorney General it can increase the sentence.”

Is it the case that the UK Attorney General – as the Advocate General for NI – still has that power?

Or has it been devolved to someone else?

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