Review of the Criminal Justice System

Terms of Reference

Taking account of the aims of the criminal justice system as set out in the Agreement, the review will address the structure, management and resourcing of publicly funded elements of the criminal justice system and will bring forward proposals for future criminal justice arrangements (other than policing and those aspects of the system relating to emergency legislation, which the Government is considering separately) covering such issues as:

  • the arrangements for making appointments to the judiciary and magistracy, and safeguards for protecting their independence;
  • the arrangements for the organisation and supervision of the prosecution process, and for safeguarding its independence;
  • measures to improve the responsiveness and accountability of, and any lay participation in the criminal justice system;
  • mechanisms for addressing law reform;
  • the scope for structured co-operation between the criminal justice agencies on both parts of the island; and
  • the structure and organisation of criminal justice functions that might be devolved to an Assembly, including the possibility of establishing a Department of Justice, while safeguarding the essential independence of many of the key functions in this area.

The Government proposes to commence the review as soon as possible, consulting with the political parties and others, including non-governmental expert organisations. The review will be completed by Autumn 1999.

<Annex A (Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland)

Good Friday Agreement Contents


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