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Justice and Security (Northern Ireland ) Act 2007 (Independent Reviewer's Report)

Volume 485: debated on Wednesday 17 December 2008

Robert Whalley CB has submitted his first report as independent reviewer of the Justice and Security (Northern Ireland) Act 2007 (the “2007 Act”). I have today arranged for copies to be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

The report of the independent reviewer covers the operation of section 21 to 32 of the 2007 act and also the procedures adopted by the General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland for receiving, investigating and responding to complaints. The report covers the period 1 August 2007 to 31 May 2008.

The report provides a positive assessment of the use of the powers under the 2007 Act and makes clear the need for their continued requirement. The report provides a valuable reassurance to both the public and Government on the use of these powers ensuring that they are exercised appropriately and proportionately.

The report paints a positive assessment of the procedures adopted by the GOC for dealing with military complaints. I welcome Mr. Whalley’s undertaking to explore this issue in more detail in his next report.

I welcome the recommendations made by Robert Whalley and I will consider them carefully.