Department of Justice (Northern Ireland) - History

History

The partition of Ireland created a separate jurisdiction of Northern Ireland in June 1921. A local Ministry of Home Affairs was established at that time and oversaw most aspects of justice policy until the introduction of direct rule in March 1972. The Northern Ireland Office, led by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, was subsequently responsible for security and political affairs during the remainder of the Troubles.

The post of Lord Chancellor of Ireland was abolished in 1922 and replaced in Northern Ireland by the Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain. His supporting department and the subsequent Department for Constitutional Affairs (2003-2007) oversaw the courts until the formation of the Ministry of Justice in May 2007.

Most aspects of social and economic policy were devolved to the Northern Ireland Executive in December 1999. The devolution of policing and justice was pledged in the St Andrews Agreement (of October 2006) and the Hillsborough Castle Agreement (of February 2010) and occurred in April 2010.

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