Department of Justice (Northern Ireland) - Responsibilities


The Department of Justice is responsible for most everyday policing and justice powers in Northern Ireland. These include:

  • criminal law;
  • policing;
  • prosecution;
  • public order;
  • courts;
  • prisons and probation;
  • criminal history disclosure (the AccessNI service).

Some justice matters remain reserved to Westminster, with the Assembly's agreement e.g. the prerogative of mercy in terrorism cases, illicit drug classification, the Serious Organised Crime Agency, the accommodation of prisoners in separated conditions within the Northern Ireland Prison Service, parades and the security of explosives.

In addition, some justice matters remain excepted and devolution was either not discussed or not considered feasible: extradition (as an international relations matter), military justice (as a defence matter), the enforcement of immigration law by the UK Border Agency, and national security (including intelligence services).

The Department of Justice’s main counterparts in the United Kingdom Government are:

  • the Home Office (on policing, drugs and public order);
  • the Ministry of Justice (on criminal law, courts, prisons, probation);
  • the Northern Ireland Office (on national security in Northern Ireland).

In the Irish Government, its main counterpart is the Department of Justice and Equality.

Read more about this topic:  Department Of Justice (Northern Ireland)

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