Northern Ireland’s justice system weathers the storms of controversy in the continuing vacuum from government

Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan  Still no word of a decision on the Legacy Bill and no surprise there either. The justice system ploughs on with handling legacy cases against a background of continuing controversy.  The Daily Telegraph’s campaign against former soldiers having to face trial continues, with the  “disgusted” reaction by appellant  78 year old Dennis Hutchings  to the Supreme Court’s decision that he will face trial by a judge alone. The real objection, held by a strong …

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At the sharpest end of dealing with the past, whatever the arguments, the Haggarty case takes your breath away

A Loyalist  “supergrass” who admitted the murders of five people among hundreds of offences has had a 35-year jail term reduced to six-and-a-half years for helping the police. Gary Haggarty, 45, was a former leader of an Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) unit in north Belfast. Haggarty was a paid police informer for 11 years The judgment from Belfast Crown Court indicated that the 35-year jail term was reduced by 75% for the assistance given to prosecutors and then a further …

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Chief Justice offers dialogue with politicians on bail decisions

The Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan has given a rare broadcast interview addressing head on the alleged “perception “of partiality in recent bail decisions.     The interview opens a dialogue with the aim of educating politicians – in particular the DUP leadership – in the complexities of bail decisions on the Assembly’s own ground, the Justice Committee. The offer is also open for Peter Robinson to talk to him. The chief justice says nothing new of substance. But he …

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