Justice

 

Policing and Security

Most policing and justice powers were devolved to the Northern Ireland Assembly in 2010. However, there is still a role for Northern Ireland MPs to promote crime prevention and public safety in Northern Ireland. Alliance is committed to an effective and accountable police service and to upholding the rule of law.

In order to ensure this, Alliance will:

  • Argue for continued UK participation in the European Arrest Warrant and work with the National Crime Agency, PSNI, and police forces across Europe to ensure international policing co-operation, in the event of Brexit.
  • Make the case for Unexplained Wealth Orders to be extended to Northern Ireland in order to better tackle paramilitary organised crime gangs.
  • Continue our strong opposition to domestic and gendered violence, supporting the Domestic Abuse Bill and its provisions relating to Northern Ireland.
  • Continue to support the proposals of the Gillen Review of the law and procedure in prosecuting serious sexual offences, and make the case for a UK-wide approach to delivering the best outcomes for victims, defendants and justice.
  • Promote collaborative efforts to tackle global crimes which require an integrated national and international response, including human trafficking, fuel laundering and counterfeiting. We recognise that the profits from these crimes fund illegal organisations locally and globally.

 

Civil Liberties

Alliance is committed to personal liberty, privacy and civil rights:
they ensure that individuals can exercise their own choices and that the state acts fairly. As a party which respects the rule of law, we know how important it is to ensure civil liberties are protected.
In order to do so, Alliance will:

  • Oppose any proposed repeal of the Human Rights Act or withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights.
  • Support ending the bulk collection of communications data and internet connection records.
  • Support the principle of net neutrality and oppose wide-ranging restrictions on access from the UK to certain parts of the internet.
  • Support the retention of the Freedom of Information Act in its current form.
  • Continue to apply an approach to the most difficult issues in Northern Ireland which balances civil liberties and human rights.

 

Delivering Truth and Justice for Legacy Victims

Alliance has long advocated a new approach to dealing with the legacy of Northern Ireland’s past. Alliance refused to support the “Fresh Start” Agreement because it failed to deliver for victims. We remain committed to establishing the legacy institutions proposed in the 2014 Stormont House Agreement.

Alliance proposed the principles set out in that agreement which should guide the Executive and the British and Irish governments as they deal with the past, as follows:

  • Promoting reconciliation.
  • Upholding the rule of law.
  • Acknowledging and addressing the suffering of victims and survivors.
  • Facilitating the pursuit of justice and information recovery.
  • Complying with human rights.
  • Be proportionate, transparent, fair and equitable.
  • We remain strongly opposed to any statute of limitations or amnesty, be it for armed forces personnel or any other actors in the conflict.
    This would clearly violate the above principles and has the potential to cast doubt over the integrity of all who served in Northern Ireland with honour and protected the entire community, with particular consequences for those who still reside here.

Following the Northern Ireland Office consultation on the Stormont House Agreement proposals to address the legacy of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, Westminster should legislate for the proposed bodies:

  • An Oral History Archive to provide the opportunity of a central place for people from all backgrounds (and from throughout the UK and Ireland) to voluntarily share experiences and narratives related to the Troubles. The Archive will be independent and free from political interference and be complemented by a factual historical timeline and statistical analysis of the Troubles, produced by academics.
  • A Historical Investigations Unit to take forward independent, Article 2 compliant investigations into outstanding Troubles-related deaths, including outstanding cases from the Historical Enquiries Team process and the legacy work of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland.
  • An Independent Commission on Information Retrieval, to enable victims and survivors to seek and privately receive information about the Troubles-related deaths of their next of kin. This Commission would not disclose the identities of people who provide information. No individual who provides information to the body will be immune from prosecution for any crime committed should the required evidential test be satisfied by other means.
  • An Implementation and Reconciliation Group (IRG) to oversee themes, archives and information recovery, with the promotion of reconciliation underpinning all of its work. The IRG would encourage and support other initiatives that contribute to reconciliation, better understanding of the past and reducing sectarianism.