Northern Ireland

Inspection reveals continuing concerns for vulnerable Maghaberry prisoners

Inspection reveals continuing concerns for vulnerable Maghaberry prisoners

There continue to be concerns about vulnerable prisoners at Maghaberry Prison, despite the leadership’s “real desire” to deal with its issues. A small team of inspectors made an unannounced visit in April to review progress since the last full inspection. Inspectors visiting the prison in May 2015 had reported a prison in crisis, with serious […]

Judge blames Thatcher for state of mental health services

Judge blames Thatcher for state of mental health services

A judge has blamed poor provision for people with mental health difficulties in Northern Ireland on former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the Belfast Telegraph reports. District Judge Barney McElholm told Londonderry Magistrates Court that public provision was “a disgrace” and “a legacy of Thatcher and an ideological drive to dismantle mental health services”. He was […]

Lady Hale stresses value of diversity on the bench in Belfast lecture

Lady Hale stresses value of diversity on the bench in Belfast lecture

Deputy President of the UK Supreme Court, Lady Hale, has stressed the importance of diversity in the judiciary in a lecture to the Constitutional Law Summer School in Belfast. She said that there are several reasons for promoting diversity. “People should be able to feel that the courts of their country are ‘their’ courts, there […]

Same-sex marriage litigants plan way forward after defeat in High Court

Same-sex marriage litigants plan way forward after defeat in High Court

Couples who failed to challenge Northern Ireland’s ban on same-sex marriage in the High Court have discussed taking their cases forward. Solicitor advocate Ciarán Moynagh of McLernon Moynagh Solicitors acts on behalf of an anonymous couple who sought to challenge the laws under which same-sex marriages registered abroad are recognised as civil partnerships in Northern […]

Leading mediator returns from Botswana trip

Leading mediator returns from Botswana trip

The chair of Northern Ireland’s Dispute Resolution Service (DRS) has returned from a trip to Botswana. Brian Speers, DRS chair and vice-president of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA), attended the AGM of the Southern Africa Development Community Lawyers Association (SADCLA) in Gaborone, Botswana from 9-11 August. As a guest of the Law Society of Botswana, […]

Brokenshire criticised over interim payments for child abuse survivors

Brokenshire criticised over interim payments for child abuse survivors

Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire has been criticised for not backing interim compensation payments to survivors of child abuse. Last week, the Panel of Experts on Redress met David Sterling, head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service to discuss making interim payments while the devolved institutions are not functioning. The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry found […]

Pinsent Masons: Brexit customs paper makes ‘interesting suggestions’

Pinsent Masons: Brexit customs paper makes ‘interesting suggestions’

The head of Brexit advisory at Pinsent Masons said government proposals for a future customs relationship with the EU include interesting suggestions for handling the Irish border. Guy Lougher said Future customs arrangements: a future partnership “indicates clearly that the Government is very alive to the particular circumstances of Northern Ireland’s interactions with Ireland, and […]

Sex offender treatment programme linked to reoffending is scrapped

Sex offender treatment programme linked to reoffending is scrapped

A treatment programme for sex offenders in prison which was linked to reoffending has been scrapped in Northern Ireland, The Detail reports. The Core Sex Offender Treatment Programme (COPT) was first scrapped in England and Wales after a review by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) found that prisoners who completed the programme were more likely […]

Judgment in same-sex marriage cases due tomorrow

Judgment in same-sex marriage cases due tomorrow

Judgment in two cases dealing with same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland is expected to be handed down by the High Court tomorrow. Mr Justice O’Hara will rule on a case dealing with recognition of same-sex marriages entered into in England and Wales, and a case dealing with the Northern Ireland Assembly’s refusal to legislate for […]

‘Problems’ persist over community confidence in policing

‘Problems’ persist over community confidence in policing

The head of the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s (PSNI) reactive and organised crime branch has said there remain “a lot of problems” with confidence in Northern Ireland policing. Det Chief Supt Tim Mairs spoke to BBC News following reports that there was a 31 per cent year-on-year increase in paramilitary attacks in the first […]