David Ford said: “It is clear that there is very little confidence between the DUP and Sinn Fein, with many unresolved items already on the Executive agenda.
“Unless all the parties demonstrate the political will to make the Assembly work, then policing and justice should not yet be entrusted with them.
“We need to see complete commitment to the democratic institution in Northern Ireland before a portfolio as serious as justice can be devolved.
“If the Sinn Fein really wants to make a difference for people, it needs to make the current devolved departments work. It needs to help deliver better healthcare, better public transport and a stronger economy. The Executive has failed in all these areas.
“Why is Sinn Fein looking for extra responsibility considering they cannot deal effectively with the powers they have already got? Much work must be done by the DUP and Sinn Fein on other issues before justice can be devolved.
“Sinn Fein now needs to show goodwill instead of sabre-rattling if they are to convince the public that justice powers should be devolved.
“Sinn Fein and the DUP have shown a real lack of political maturity in recent times. The Alliance Party cannot compensate for the ill-feeling between the DUP and Sinn Fein. What is vital now is that all Executive parties demonstrate the will to make Stormont work. Sinn Fein must not be allowed to hold Northern Ireland to ransom with their threats to collapse the Assembly.”