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

02
Dec

Submission to the Committee of Ministers in relation to the supervision of the cases concerning the action of the security forces in Northern Ireland (October 2021)

Our latest submission to the Committee of Ministers was drafted for consideration at the 1419th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies, which is taking place between 30 November and 2 December 2021. In the submission, we highlight the lack of support locally and internationally for the UK government’s recent Command Paper on legacy, which includes proposals...
11
Oct

PSNI@20: Human Rights Reflections on Policing Reform North and South

A joint seminar from ICCL and CAJ to reflect on policing reform on the island of Ireland, featuring a range of expert speakers. When: 9.30am to 1.30pm Friday 5 November 2021 Where: Great Hall, QUB, BT7 1NN Police reform and oversight has been an essential pillar of the NI peace process from the 1990s onwards....
17
Sep

Submission to UN Human Rights Council on UK impunity proposals for the NI conflict

The UN Human Rights Council has been examining concerns related to the Northern Ireland Office’s impunity proposals. In recent months, the UK has unilaterally departed from the provisions of the 2014 Stormont House Agreement (SHA). Instead, the UK now proposes introducing legislation that would include a statute-bar on investigating conflict related incidents, along with an...
Just News July 2021
01
Jul

Just News July 2021

Inside this issue: We examine the rights implications of vaccine passports and the government’s plans to alter the law on judicial review. Also, we cover the outcome of the Ballymurphy Inquest, which found the victims of the Ballymurphy Massacre to be entirely innocent. Other articles examine additional human rights issues, such as (the lack of)...
14
Jun

‘Hooded Men’ appeal to be heard in the UK Supreme Court

From 14 to 16 June 2021, the UK Supreme Court will hear an appeal from Northern Ireland in relation to the treatment of the ‘Hooded Men’.  The case is being taken by Mary McKenna, daughter of one of the Hooded Men, Sean McKenna. Mr McKenna, after release from internment, spent the rest of his life...
20
May

Response to the PSNI consultation and EQIA on the temporary use of spit and bite guards

A Spit and Bite Guard (SBG) is a controversial mesh hood, used to prevent a person from spitting on or biting police officers or staff. SBG were introduced by the PSNI, without consultation, last year as a temporary measure for the duration of the Coronavirus pandemic. The use of SBGs constitutes a use of force....
12
May

Statement on Ballymurphy inquest findings

CAJ welcomes the inquest verdicts and findings into the deaths of ten people killed at Ballymurphy between 9 and 11 August 1971. We pay tribute to the families and their supporters who have battled courageously over five decades in their pursuit of truth and justice for their loved ones. The findings of Coroner Mrs Justice...
01
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 (February 2021)

CAJ regularly makes submissions the Committee of Ministers on the ‘McKerr group of cases’ concerning the actions of the security forces in the 1980s and 1990s in Northern Ireland. Our recent submissions have charted the unilateral abandonment by the UK of commitments to implement the legacy mechanisms contained within the Stormont House Agreement (SHA), and...
03
Mar

Chief Constable criticised for spit hoods roll-out in defiance of Policing Board

Amnesty International, CAJ, Children’s Law Centre, and Include Youth have criticised a decision by the Chief Constable of the Police Service Northern Ireland (PSNI) to give spit hoods to 4,000 more officers in defiance of the Policing Board and in light of the possible increased risk of Covid-19 infection to both police and members of...

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