Clause 5 - Duty of Director of Public Prosecutions to refer certain matters to Police Ombudsman

Part of Justice (Northern Ireland) Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:45 am on 1st April 2004.

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Photo of John Spellar John Spellar The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office 9:45 am, 1st April 2004

If the amendment is innocuous, as the hon. Gentleman says, it may also be unnecessary. It is up to the ombudsman to assess whether a case is valid. The hon. Gentleman wants a stronger burden of proof to be imposed on the DPP than simply believing that an offence may have been committed and that it therefore requires further investigation. ''Has'' would seem to imply that the matter is definitely clear and it would impose a slightly stronger burden than that only ''appearing'' to be the case.