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

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...
02
Feb

Model Bill Team submission to the Special Rapporteur on the Promotion of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of Non-Recurrence

The UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion of Truth, Justice Reparations and Guarantees of Non-Recurrence is drafting a follow-up report to examine to what extent the UK has implemented recommendations made based on an official visit to the country in 2016. Civil society groups and national human rights institutions have been given an opportunity to...
16
Dec

MI6 unilaterally assumed power to break law on UK soil, tribunal reveals

At the Investigatory Powers Tribunal today, it was revealed that MI6 may have unilaterally assumed the power to authorise agents to commit crimes in the UK  – potentially without any legal basis or limits on the crimes they can commit. Reprieve, the Pat Finucane Centre, Privacy International, and CAJ have been challenging a secret policy...
Cover of the 2020 annual report
11
Dec

CAJ Annual Report 2020

Since our last Annual Report, the world has changed. A pandemic grips the planet, with over 68 million cases of Covid-19 infection and over one and a half million deaths caused by the virus. This is the most significant change on a global level and there are many consequences for human rights, negative and positive....
03
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 2020)

The Committee of Ministers is the decision-making body of Europe’s leading human rights organisation, the Council of Europe. Its functions include examining 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 have committed human rights violations. CAJ regularly makes submissions the...
01
Dec

CAJ responds to Secretary of State smokescreen and refusal to discharge commitment to order a Public Inquiry into the killing of human rights lawyer Pat Finucane

The case of Pat Finucane is one of profound importance for society in Northern Ireland and for those who believe in the rule of law. CAJ condemns the refusal of the UK government to hold a proper independent inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane. The statement by Secretary of State Brandon Lewis alluding to...
Cover of Just News November 2020
04
Nov

Just News November 2020

Inside this issue: While the pandemic may continue to dominate the political agenda and our day to day lives, there have been significant developments in relation to human rights in many other areas. We explore some of these developments in this new edition of Just News. Contributors include Lilian Seenoi-Barr of the North West Migrants...
14
Oct

Written evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights on the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill

The Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill was introduced to the UK Parliament on 24 September 2020, and is scheduled to complete passage through the House of Commons by 15 October 2020. The Bill will amend existing legislation to create a new process of ‘Criminal Conduct Authorisations’, which will allow MI5, police forces, and a range...

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