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Kelly - Justice issues need to be addressed

22 January, 2004


Following a meeting with the Justice Oversight Commissioner, Lord Clyde, Sinn Féin MLA and spokesperson on Policing and Justice, Gerry Kelly, has stated that a issues regarding the implementation of justice reforms still need addressed. Speaking after today's launch of the Oversight Commissioners first report Mr Kelly said:

"Sinn Féin held a forty five minute meeting yesterday with Lord Clyde in order to discuss the report by the Criminal Justice Oversight Commissioner. During this meeting a number of concerns were raised.

"The Oversight Commissioners appointment is for three years only. The DPP has stated it will take longer than that to implement the changes to the DPP's department as laid out in the Justice Bill.

"The issue of Symbols and Emblems within court premises was also raised, with particular emphasis on the High Court in Belfast. The existing display of emblems is in clear conflict with the legal requirements to have a neutral environment in courthouses.

"We also raised the case of John Boyle which is currently going though a Judicial Review. John Boyle was convicted wrongly and served a long sentence on the basis of the RUC falsifying documents. While the DPP accepts that falsification of evidence took place he has refused to prosecute those involved and has also refused to give reasons why.

"Cases such as these undermine public confidence in the ability of the DPP to be truly independent and therefore raises questions about the British Governments will to achieve a new and accountable justice system." ENDS

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