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Life Sentences

Volume 405: debated on Thursday 22 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans he has to bring forward legislation on life sentences for murder in Northern Ireland. [114546]

In October 2001, the Life Sentences (Northern Ireland) Order 2001 ("the Order") introduced new provisions for the sentencing, review and release of life prisoners in Northern Ireland. The arrangements introduced by the Order arose from a widely supported recommendation of the Review of the Criminal Justice System in Northern Ireland.Proposals are currently before Parliament by way of the Criminal Justice Bill for the amendment of the Life Sentences (Northern Ireland) Order 2001 to provide a statutory right for review by the Life Sentence Review Commissioners of NI life prisoners simultaneously detained under the Mental Health (NI) Order 1986.