Clause 1

Part of Justice and Security (Northern Ireland) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:45 pm on 16th January 2007.

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Photo of Sammy Wilson Sammy Wilson Shadow Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Shadow Spokesperson (Education) 5:45 pm, 16th January 2007

I do not accept that. Clause 1 quite clearly gives the scope to the DPP if he is sure that certain conditions have been met. We have discussed whether those conditions are tightly defined. He must be satisfied that there is a risk to the administration of justice. I believe that the safeguards are sufficient.

I do not accept the point made by the hon. Member for Foyle that the provisions will make the devolution of policing and justice more difficult. If anything, they will probably build in a further safeguard for those concerned about that devolution and whether community confidence is sufficient for it to work. Those who would want to question a Minister about why a case is being taken to a non-jury trial would do so with one view—to change the outcome. They would be seeking ministerial interference. In the context of Northern Ireland devolution and the administration of policing and justice, a situation that allows even the thought that the administration of justice might be interfered with in that way would make it more difficult to gain the confidence required for devolution.