NI Attorney General: ‘gap in the system introduced by the devolution of justice’

Northern Ireland’s new Attorney General, John Larkin, was giving evidence to the Assembly’s Justice Committee today.  And, as the BBC notes, he repeated his concerns about his lack of oversight powers over the Public Prosecution Service.

Last month, Mr Larkin said he might not have all the powers he needed.

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

Mr Larkin told the committee that in contrast to the position before 11 April, he could not appeal unduly lenient sentences or initiate criminal proceedings.

“If something has gone wrong with a significant prosecution, or a significant piece of Public Prosecution Service policy, there is no mechanism for a parliamentary explanation of that, because the director can only be asked about administration and finance,” Mr Larkin said.

“So if something is perceived by the Assembly to have gone wrong, either generally or with the PPS, there is no mechanism at present for that to be addressed.”

I’ve asked it before, but why wasn’t this addressed when the parties where discussing the  “Agreements, Concordats, Protocols and Memoranda of Understanding underpinning the devolution of policing and justice matters”?