Promoting Justice /
Protecting Rights

Accountable Policing and Justice

At its broadest, the concept of contemporary accountability refers to the “guarantees of non-recurrence” of major human rights violations established following a conflict. It involves many areas of society but with the common aim of establishing a fair and just system in which all people can have trust and confidence.

In a narrower sense, the concept refers to the laws, mechanisms and institutions which govern and hold to account the actions of the state, especially those elements entrusted with coercive powers. The goal of transitional justice, the term used in regions overcoming a past of violent conflict and building a new polity, is a society based on human rights and the rule of law. Progress towards that goal is essential if peace is to be based on confidence by all people in the institutions of state. Arguably, such progress is even more essential in a situation like ours where people with different national aspirations and even allegiances must share the same political and geographical space. One of the keys to contemporary accountability is policing and Justice.

Latest press releases and publications

24
Sep

New law lets MI5 authorise crimes with no hard limits

A joint press release from CAJ, Reprieve, Privacy International, and the Pat Finucane Centre. Agents of MI5 and other Government bodies could be legally authorised to commit crimes under new legislation introduced today. There appear to be no express limits in the legislation on the types of crime which could be authorised. The Covert Human...
04
Sep

Council of Europe sets final deadline for UK to come clean on NI legacy bill and Pat Finucane investigation

The body overseeing implementation of the judgements of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has given a final deadline to the UK government by which it must provide details of its proposals to deal with the legacy of the conflict in Northern Ireland. The Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers has requested the information...
03
Sep

CAJ statement on the appointment of six new human rights commissioners

CAJ notes the appointment of six new Commissioners to the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC), who each took up office on 1 September 2020. CAJ hopes they will demonstrate their firm commitment to upholding international human rights standards under the leadership of the Chief Commissioner, Les Allamby, not only as we attempt to emerge...
27
Jul

MI6 apologise for asking court staff to withhold evidence from Judges in case about crimes by covert agents

MI6 has been forced to apologise to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal after two of its officers asked court staff to return documents relating to MI6’s use of agents and not show them to judges. The Tribunal suggested MI6’s actions were “inappropriate interference”. The revelation emerged in an ongoing legal case considering what crimes intelligence informants...
16
Jun

Amnesty and CAJ raise concerns over laws restricting protest ahead of assembly debate

Human rights organisations concerned at last-minute law changes and PSNI action against Black Lives Matter protests Amnesty International UK and the Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) have written to every MLA – in advance of a debate in the Northern Ireland Assembly today (Tuesday 16 June 2020) – to outline concerns about law...
08
Jun

Laws restricting protest in Northern Ireland unacceptable

CAJ joins with Amnesty International UK to condemn the issuing of fines at Black Lives Matter (BLM) rallies in NI The last-minute introduction of fines against peaceful Black Lives Matter protests in Northern Ireland over the weekend is “unacceptable”, Amnesty International UK and CAJ said today. The human rights organisations have raised concerns that enforcement...
27
Apr

Submission to the Committee of Ministers in relation to the supervision of the cases concerning the action of the security forces in Northern Ireland (April 2020)

The Committee of Ministers is the decision-making body of Europe’s leading human rights organisation, the Council of Europe. In June 2020, the 1377th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies will examine the execution of judgments made by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in a series of cases in which states have been found to...
09
Apr

Drive to achieve impunity for soldiers risks legacy process in Northern Ireland, according to new report

There are clear deficiencies in the UK government’s most recent proposals for dealing with the legacy of Northern Ireland’s past, according to a new report published today. Prosecutions, Imprisonment and the Stormont House Agreement: A Critical Analysis of Proposals on Dealing with the Past in Northern Ireland reviews all of the proposals put forward on...
Cover of Prosecutions, Imprisonment and the Stormont House Agreement
09
Apr

Prosecutions, Imprisonment and the Stormont House Agreement: A Critical Analysis of Proposals on Dealing with the Past in Northern Ireland

In recent years, there have been eleven distinct proposals on dealing with the legacy of the past in Northern Ireland. Most recently, a new approach to legacy was put forward by the UK government in a statement delivered by the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) in March 2020. Prosecutions, Imprisonment and the Stormont House Agreement: A...

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