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

14
Nov

CAJ concern at ongoing secrecy regarding MI5 remit over British Army operations in Northern Ireland

CAJ has expressed concern at the ongoing secrecy over the potential operational relationship between MI5 and military units operating in Northern Ireland. This follows a ruling by the First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) (1) to block disclosure of a section (henceforward referred to as ‘the disputed paragraph’) of the British Army’s terms of reference for ‘Operation...
21
Oct

Just News Autumn 2019

Inside this issue: A series of articles examine how amendments to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill 2019 on equal marriage, abortion law, and legacy will impact our society. Dr John Topping of Queen’s University Belfast writes about the PSNI’s use of ‘everyday’ stop and search powers. The Chair of the Northern Ireland Business and...
23
Sep

Submission to the Committee of Ministers in relation to the supervision of cases concerning the action of the security forces in Northern Ireland (July 2019)

On the 23 September 2019, the Council of Europe (CoE) Committee of Ministers, which oversees the implementation of the judgements of the European Court of Human Rights (ECthR), will meet in Strasbourg to consider whether there has been progress in implementing the requirements of a number of court judgements. It is expected that this will...
20
Sep

NI Court of Appeal holds that the Hooded Men were tortured and that there should be a new investigation

The Court of Appeal in Belfast today held that the treatment meted out to the ‘Hooded Men’, if it occurred today, would “properly be characterised as torture”. They further held that the Chief Constable had promised a criminal investigation, which has not yet happened, but that any investigation by the PSNI Legacy Investigation Branch or...
17
Jul

Briefing note on amendments to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill 2019 relating to legacy investigations

Two amendments to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill 2019, inserted in the House of Commons, would require the NI Secretary of State to report on progress towards implementing measures designed to afford additional protections to security forces in legacy investigations. Namely (in summary), these amendments add requirements for the Secretary of State to: Report...
25
Jun

Just News Spring 2019

Inside this issue: Guest articles from the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) on DNA retention, Law Centre NI on welfare mitigations, and Rights Watch UK on the Prevent Strategy. Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, UN Special Rapporteur on Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights, writes about the misuse of counter-terrorism measures to stifle civil society globally. Plus, the...
02
May

Representatives of three NI NGOs to address the UN on the UK’s record on torture

Next week representatives of three local NGOs will be travelling to Geneva to address members of the United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT) regarding the UK’s compliance with its international obligations on the prevention of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment. Andrée Murphy and Irati Aiesta from Relatives for Justice, Gemma McKeown from the Committee...
15
Mar

Committee of Ministers decision – international community asks UK to provide timeframe on introducing Stormont House Agreement legacy legislation into Westminster

The Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers has published its latest decisions in relation to the scrutiny of the ‘cases concerning the actions of the security forces in Northern Ireland’, otherwise known as the McKerr group of cases. This follows on from a meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies, which took place in Strasburg earlier this...
27
Feb

Statement from CAJ on the Supreme Court judgment in the case of Pat Finucane

CAJ is pleased with the unanimous decision of the UK Supreme Court to uphold the appeal taken by Geraldine Finucane in relation to the murder of her husband Pat Finucane. Pat Finucane was murdered on 12 February 1989 and although David Cameron admitted in 2012 that there were ‘shocking levels of collusion’ in this murder...

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