Mallon Warns Government over Review Proposals
Pauley, Mervyn, The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland)
THE Government has been warned not to water down the Criminal Justice Review's recommendations for Northern Ireland.
Deputy First Minister Seamus Mallon said lessons to be learned from the Policing Bill must ensure that what emerged from the Review was not diluted.
He told a conference in Armagh on the human rights elements of the review that while some aspects did not go far enough, the Government must put the overall package into practice as it was in the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland.
In a keynote speech, Mr Mallon called for an independent review of the criminal justice reforms' implementation process.
He told his audience: "Our new democratic institutions depend for their survival on the commitment of Government to justice.
"Renege on that commitment and I fear for the stability of our society and its new institutions.
"But demonstrate that commitment and be sure our new society will grow and prosper to the benefit of all. That is the choice and no less. History will judge those who make it.''
Mr Mallon claimed people wanted from the review:
a judiciary which was representative of and trusted by the entire community it serves.
a criminal justice system offering rehabilitation - not just punishment.
a system with which everybody could identify, regardless of their traditions and political aspirations.
laws that were fair, to help battered wives, troubled teenagers and parolees making a new beginning.
a system which made the streets safe for all - young and old.
The SDLP deputy leader said: "Overall, I believe that the Criminal Justice Review offers a good chance of achieving these goals.
"But above all, this will depend on the commitment of the Government to implementation, to the translation of the recommendations of the review into concrete actions. …