January - March

Brendan McGuigan gave a presentation on the findings of CJI’s report on the management of Hate Crime at a seminar in Dublin organised to coincide with the Intercultural and Anti Racism Week in Ireland. Delegates attending the seminar were keen to learn how race crimes were dealt with by the Criminal Justice System in Northern Ireland and how existing processes could be made more effective.
Chief Inspectors from the fields of Criminal Justice, Education, Health and Social Services across the UK met in Belfast for a joint meeting hosted by Kit Chivers.  The meeting was chaired by Marion Matchett, Chief Inspector of Education and Training and attended by guest speaker Sir George Bain, author of the recent report on education reform in Northern Ireland.  During the one-day meeting at the W5 complex at the Odyssey, delegates considered the issue of inspectorate reform.  They also discussed the occupational standards for inspection recently prepared by the Sector Skills council ‘Skills for Justice.’  The Chief Inspectors also examined the dilemmas they face in striking a balance between ‘broad and shallow’ inspection and ‘deep and narrow’ inspection.  As a result of the meeting, a commitment was given for the various inspectorates to work collectively to establish their duties and responsibilities.
CJI’s Deputy Chief Inspector Brendan McGuigan traveled to Brussels to give a presentation to 20 members of EUJUST LEX – the European Union Integrated Rule of Law Mission for Iraq.  The EU Mission is designed to address the urgent needs of the Iraqi criminal justice system and to strengthen the rule of law and promote a culture of respect for human rights in Iraq.  Members of the mission – which include judges, police officers and prison governors from member states within the EU -- believe there needs to be a strategic plan for the criminal justice system in Iraq.  They were very interested in the Criminal Justice Review and the Criminal Justice Implementation Plan which is transforming the system in Northern Ireland.  The Mission is led by former PSNI/RUC Assistant Chief Constable Stephen White.
Kit Chivers gave a presentation on the findings of CJI's recent inspection on how hate crime is managed by the criminal justice system to the All-Party Working Group on black and ethnic minority people at Belfast City Hall.  The group is made up of MLAs of all political parties and representatives of voluntary organisations from across Northern Ireland.
CJI  has welcomed the Government’s publication of its consultation paper on a new strategy for Victims and Witnesses, in response to CJI’s report of July 2005.  The paper can be viewed on the Criminal Justice System website www.cjsni.gov.uk or on the NIO website -- www.nio.gov.uk.

Criminal Justice Inspection’s Annual Stakeholder Conference is held at the Hilton Hotel, Templepatrick.

The event which brings together representatives of Northern Ireland’s Criminal Justice system and voluntary and community groups who work within the sector this year is looking at the issue of Justice in a Changing Community.  Among the speakers joining  Kit Chivers, Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice in Northern Ireland in addressing delegates at the one-day conference are Paul Goggins MP, Minister for Security, Policing and Prisons, Sir Hugh Orde, Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland and Kathleen O’Toole, Chief Inspector of the Garda Síochána Inspectorate.  They will also be addressed by Professor Kieran McEvoy, Queen’s University, Belfast, Brendan McAllister, Director of Mediation Northern Ireland, Patrick Yu from the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities (NICEM) and James Knox from the Coalition on Sexual Orientation (COSO).  During the course of the day, CJI Inspectors will consult Stakeholders on the proposed Inspection Programme for 2007-08.

A thematic inspection on how the Criminal Justice system in Northern Ireland manages hate crime has been published by Criminal Justice Inspection.  The report recommends a more consistent, integrated and systematic approach to the reporting, recording, investigation and prosecution of these offences would improve the existing system.  It also recognises the commendable commitment displayed by the various criminal justice agencies to tackling the issue.