Alliance Welcomes Justice Devolution

Alliance Party Justice Spokesperson, Stephen Farry MLA, has welcomed the formal devolution of policing and justice powers to the Northern Ireland Assembly at midnight on 12 April, and stressed that devolution must primarily be seen as a beginning to a new approach to delivering justice and community safety.

Stephen Farry stated: “Today’s transfer of policing and justice powers to the Assembly is a momentous development. It is the biggest development in the devolved settlement with the UK since 1998. The granting of tax-varying powers is the next big challenge.

“Disputes around policing and justice have plagued the political process over the past few years. Devolution now offers the Executive and the Assembly the chance for a fresh start. It is important that all parties now seize this opportunity with a renewed sense of partnership working for a shared future.

“Devolution brings control over the resourcing and policy-making for the criminal justice system, and the local accountability that goes with it. Critically, it brings new opportunities for joined-up government over issues such as combating anti-social behaviour and preventing offending.

“The challenge now lies in delivery. Alliance is prepared to nominate David Ford for the post of the Justice Minister. We have not been chased this post for the sake of ministerial office but instead have sought assurances around the capacity to deliver. Alliance has published our policy proposals for justice and achieved support for these from others. Community safety, accessible and speedier justice, and supporting a shared future are all key objectives for Alliance.

“The cross-community vote in the Assembly offers greater legitimacy for any minister. Alliance’s decision to potentially go into government will not change the vision, values and policies of the party one bit. We will seek to make the government more effective, while continuing to campaign for a better form of shared governance for Northern Ireland .”


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