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Non-Jury Trial Under the Justice and Security (Northern Ireland) Act 2007

Volume 705: debated on Tuesday 25 November 2008

The Minister of State for Northern Ireland (Paul Goggins) has made the following Ministerial Statement.

During the passage of the Justice and Security (Northern Ireland) Act 2007, Ministers undertook to make a Statement to Parliament each year on the volume of non-jury trial cases under the legislation. This is the first such Statement.

During the period 1 August 2007 to 31 July 2008 inclusive, the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland issued 29 certificates, relating to 28 cases, under Section 1 of the Act. Some of those certificates relate to cases that were already in the system at the time the previous “Diplock” arrangements under the Terrorism Act 2000 were repealed, but where the indictment had not yet been presented.

During the same period, 48 non-jury cases have been dealt with before the Crown Court. This figure is made up of 13 cases under the 2007 Act, and a further 35 cases being dealt with under the transitional arrangements put in place for the repeal of Part VII of the 2000 Act. Under those transitional arrangements, cases where the indictment had been presented at the time of repeal continued to be tried under the 2000 Act arrangements.

A further 24 cases were in the system at 31 July 2008. This figure is made up of 15 cases where certificates have been issued under the 2007 Act and nine transitional Diplock cases. These nine cases will be the last tried under the Terrorism Act 2000 arrangements.