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

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...
20
Feb

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

The Committee of Ministers is the decision-making body of Europe’s leading human rights organisation, the Council of Europe. Between 12 to 14 March, the 1340th (Human Rights) meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies will take place. This session will look at the execution of judgements made by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in a...
14
Feb

Press statement re. Police Ombudsman’s reports being held up by PSNI failure to disclose information

The Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland (PONI) has said that a number of his reports into past killings, which may have involved collusion, will be delayed because of police failure to disclose information. CAJ understands that new information on the activities of Loyalist murder squads has come to light. The PSNI claims that ‘human error’...
10
Dec

CAJ Annual Report 2018

CAJ highlights another year spent promoting justice and protecting rights in our Annual Report 2018. It’s been an eventful twelve months for the CAJ team, not least because of the human rights implications of the UK’s impending exit from the EU. Introduction to the report: People in Northern Ireland are sometimes accused, not always unjustly,...
04
Oct

Tribunal to consider whether MI5 covert agents can commit serious criminal offences

Agents for Britain’s Security Service are authorised to commit serious crimes, on British soil, without informing prosecutors, under a secretive MI5 policy, a court heard today. Reprieve, Privacy International, the Pat Finucane Centre and CAJ are challenging the legality of the scheme before the Investigatory Powers Tribunal in London. The groups’ leading counsel, Ben Jaffey...
11
Sep

CAJ criticises ECHR decision on ‘Hooded Men’ case

CAJ has criticised the decision taken by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) today to refuse a request to re-examine the ‘Hooded Men’ case in its Grand Chamber. The case concerns the ‘interrogation in depth’ of the Hooded Men during their internment in 1971. While detained without charge or trial, these 14 men were...
19
Feb

How Public Order Policing Works in Northern Ireland: Standards and Accountability

No.-67-How-Public-Order-Policing-Works-in-Northern-Ireland-Standards-and-Accountability-Feb-2016 This document attempts to give an account of the standards to which the Police Service of Northern Ireland aspires when carrying out public order policing and some of the issues that arise. These standards are to be found in domestic legislation, a series of police guidance documents and international human rights instruments, primarily the...

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