July - September

Kit Chivers and Brendan McGuigan attended the launch of a five-year strategy aimed at improving the services and level of support provided to victims and witnesses of crime in Northern Ireland.  The strategy, which was developed by a multi-agency group the Victims, Vulnerable or Intimidated Witnesses Steering Group (VVIW), Victim Support NI and the NSPCC, was unveiled in the Hilton Hotel, Belfast by the Criminal Justice Minister Paul Goggins, MP.  The strategy for 2007-12 contains many of the recommendations made by CJI in its 2005 inspection report on Victims and Witnesses.  The launch was also attended by the Lord Chief Justice, the Rt. Hon Sir Brian Kerr, Susan Reid, Chief Executive of Victim Support NI and Martin Crummey, Director, NSPCC Northern Ireland.  Electronic copies of the strategy document are available on the websites of the NIO and the CJSNI website as well as from the websites of other partner organisations.
Assistant Inspector Ian Craig presented a paper on Transitive Discrimination at the British Criminology Society Conference in London.  Ian also chaired a discussion session during the three-day conference.
CJI’s Paul Mageean gave a briefing on International Human Rights Standards to the Bill of Rights Forum’s Working Part on Criminal Justice and Victims at the Interpoint Centre in Belfast.
Paul Mageean gave an address on OPCAT at an event organised by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties held in Law Society House in Dublin.
CJI has advertised to recruit a Business Support Officer and IT Systems Administrator to join its Business Support Team in Belfast.  Candidates can obtain further information on the selection criteria and the duties and responsibilities of both posts by contacting John McClenaghan at Grafton Recruitment on 028 90 895803 or via e-mail [email protected]

Criminal Justice Inspection has published two follow-up reviews on Forensic Science Northern Ireland and Scientific Support Services within the PSNI. Both reports examine progress on recommendations contained in the Inspectorate’s original reports which were published in 2005.  The acknowledge the progress which has been made by both organisations while highlighting areas where further improvements can be made.

Criminal Justice Inspection has made public the findings of its first inspection of the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland (PPS).  The report found that based on the extensive file sample examined by us the PPS was independent in its decision making, but it could do more to publicly reassure the community of this.  The report contains a number of recommendations and issues to address which Inspectors believe will further enhance the Service.  The inspection was carried out by Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) under the delegated authority of Kit Chivers, Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice in Northern Ireland.  Copies of the report can be downloaded from this website.
Northern Ireland Alternatives invited Kit Chivers to give a short speech to invited guests after the community-based restorative justice scheme (CBRJ) secured accreditation under the Government’s protocol for the operation of CBRJ schemes in Northern Ireland.  The event was hosted in the Long Gallery, Stormont by Dawn Purvis MLA and Fred Cobain MLA.  Other speakers who addressed the audience included Stephen Leach, NIO Criminal Justice Division, Raymond Kitson, Public Prosecution Service, Chief Inspector Nigel Grimshaw, PSNI, Koulla Yiasouma, Director of the Board of N I Alternatives.
Criminal Justice Inspection has published its inspection report on how complaints are handled within the criminal justice system.  The report has recommended the establishment of an independent complaints appeals body which would deal with complaints from all areas of the justice system except the PSNI.  The inspection was carried out with the assistance of office of the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People (NICCY) and the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA).
Rachel Tupling joins CJI’s Inspection Team as an Inspector.