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2 July 2014

Question Time: Justice 01 July 2014

During Question Time the Minister of Justice responded to questions including Magilligan Prison; Parading; Victims of Crime; Juvenile Justice; PSNI.

 

The Minister reiterated his commitment to the redevelopment of Magilligan prison:
I said at that time that the completed outline business case will be submitted to DFP and it will be DFP's decision as to whether the business case will be approved for the rebuild.  Any approval will advise the availability of capital funding for the project.   The prison must remain operational during the redevelopment, and a combination of operational need and capital availability will determine the timeline for the work.  If approval is given and funding is made available, NIPS would plan to commence work at Magilligan in 2016.
On the issue of parading the Minister stated:
However, while it (the Parades Commission) is the only show in town, there is no alternative but for those of us who support the rule of law to accept that the determinations of the commission, whether appreciated or not, have the force of the rule of law.  Those who parade and those who protest should do so lawfully and peacefully in all circumstances.
The Minister was challenged on whether his Department will have the necessary resources to ensure that proper structures for a victims' charter will be in place once the Justice Bill is passed in the Assembly
I believe that...we are well on the way to having the necessary measures in place. Clearly, all these things cost a degree of money, but some of the proposals that we have had recently, such as the registered intermediary scheme, are in a position to be expanded because they are proving so successful, and the costs of that are being absorbed in the Department's budget.  We will continue to make progress, but we cannot give guarantees as to what the finances will be over the next few years.
During Topical Questions the Minister discussed Prison Service: Staff Entitlements; Policing and Community Safety Partnerships; Joe Campbell; Police Ombudsman: Funding Request; Parades: Criminal Justice Issues; Capital Works:  Business Cases; Legal Criticism:  DOJ; and Legal Aid and Coroners’ Courts Bill.

You can read the full list of questions on our website. The full transcript of Question Time is available to read in the Official Report.