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Review of bail policy must comply with human rights - Kearney

24 January, 2017 - by Declan Kearney

Sinn Féin's northern justice spokesperson and South Antrim MLA described UUP calls in the Assembly for a change in bail policy as an attempt to push back on the human rights provisions upon which bail law is based.

Mr Kearney said:

"The logic of the UUP Assembly's motion would undermine the core principles of bail law. The effect of that approach would be to hollow out the human rights framework of our justice system.

"Sinn Féin does not disagree with a review of bail policy. However, some prisoners have experienced inordinate and lengthy periods of remand in custody while awaiting trial, hence creating the perception of 'legalised internment by remand'.

"Conversely, inconsistent use of bail policy and flawed monitoring of bail conditions by the PSNI has created a different perception of a revolving door system which facilitates alleged repeat offenders.

"Any review of bail policy must be premised upon the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise, and be fully compliant with human rights provisions." 

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