Dickson welcomes passage of Justice Bill

Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson has welcomed the completion of the Final Stage of the Justice Bill, saying the legislation will make a number of positive reforms to make our justice system fit for the 21st Century.

Speaking in the Assembly today (Tuesday), the party’s Justice spokesperson also added his praise to Justice Minister David Ford for his role in securing the passage of the Bill. Its reforms include a single court jurisdiction for county and magistrate courts; tightening up of Access NI checks and improved victim information sharing.

Stewart Dickson MLA said: “These are common-sense reforms, reducing costs, and streamlining our court system from the outset. An independent judiciary is a hugely central institution in any democracy. We now have a set of highly positive reforms for the justice system that will make it more responsive to the needs of citizens and vitally, to the victims of crime.

“I wholeheartedly commend the Justice Minister and his Department for their co-operation and communication during the passage of this Bill, which has allowed for the refinement of amendments and the welcome abandonment of others that would not have been appropriate.

“The Minister has shown considerable fortitude and courtesy in the face of a challenging opposition, particularly in dealing with emotional and contentious issues. I look forward to the Justice No 2 Bill, which was introduced today, and supporting him in continuing his sterling work to build a justice system that delivers for the people of Northern Ireland.”

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