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Northern Ireland: Youth Justice Agency

Volume 712: debated on Monday 20 July 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government why the Youth Justice Agency of Northern Ireland includes in its consultations members of the Northern Ireland Assembly and councillors in Northern Ireland but not members of the House of Commons or the House of Lords. [HL4674]

In developing its policies and services, the Youth Justice Agency will consult with and obtain feedback from a broad range of key stakeholders and partners, and in particular, children, their families, victims of youth crime and those organisations representing them. It will also take into account developments and best practice in other jurisdictions. Where appropriate, the agency will also consult Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly, local councillors and Members of both Houses of Parliament.

The agency will also continue to strengthen engagement and links with other statutory bodies and devolved departments with responsibility for cross-cutting issues such as education and social services, which are relevant to the work of the agency.

In preparation for the devolution of policing and justice functions to the Northern Ireland Executive, the agency recently undertook a process of engagement with locally elected representatives and Members of Parliament. This consisted of briefings and visits to Youth Justice Agency premises and events with the purpose of raising awareness of the work of the agency. To date, this has not included any Members of the House of Lords. However any requests from noble Lords interested in participating would be welcomed.