Alliance MLA Chris Lyttle said: “The overriding aim of Alliance is to see devolved justice powers in the hands of a locally elected Minister, regardless of the party affiliation of that person.
“The devolved Ministry of Justice has delivered the first justice bill in around 40 years, a youth justice review, taken difficult decisions on legal aid budgets and for once, delivered meaningful action on removing so-called peacewalls.
“For the SDLP to call endorsement of the Assembly as the manner for appointing the Justice Minister anti-democratic and anti-Agreement is wrong and self-serving.
“The SDLP in opposing this motion seem intent on clinging to what they call the ugly scaffolding of aspects of the Good Friday Agreement.
“The Justice Minister is the only Minister appointed by the Assembly rather than a mathematical formula, and therefore progresses Northern Ireland in the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement toward a shared future, not a shared out future.
“Alliance will continue to act as a leading advocate of power sharing government and will defend our belief that voluntary coalition for the formation of the Executive would result in more joined up and effective government for all in Northern Ireland.”