CJI Stakeholder Conference 2011

Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland is today hosting its 8th annual stakeholder conference at the Stormont Hotel, Belfast. The theme of this year's conference is oversight and accountability.

The conference which was attended by over 160 delegates was opened by Dr Michael Maguire, Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice in Northern Ireland who extended a warm welcome to everyone in attendance at the event. 
"This is a unique gathering as it represents organisations from across the justice system, the voluntary and community sector and oversight and scrutiny bodies. It includes not only the leaders of many organisations but also those in an operational role as well," said Dr Maguire.

To view a copy of the Chief Inspector's speech, please click here.
Also speaking at the conference was Northern Ireland's first locally elected Minister of Justice, David Ford MLA, who expressed his delight at being present at an event he described as "an important date in the justice calendar."

In a departure from previous conference's CJI's 2011 Stakeholder Conference included two panel discussions and interactive question and answer sessions. To view the conference program click here.
The first panel discussion featured Noel Doran, Editor of the Irish News; Deric Henderson Editor of Press Association Ireland; Vincent Kearney, BBC Northern Ireland's Home Affairs Correspondent; Rob Morrison, Head of News and Content with UTV media plc; and Darwin Templeton, Editor of the News Letter. 
The five high profile media representatives participated in an informal interview with renowned broadcaster Liam Creagh focusing on burning issues such what drives the news agenda and makes an issue into a story, the reasons why negative stories gain such a high profile in the media and the level to which journalists found the criminal justice system to be both open and accountable.
This was followed by a question and answer session led by delegates from across the criminal justice system.
After lunch the second multi-party panel from the Committee for Justice gave their views on topic issues such as how the Committee could foster greater partnership across the criminal justice system.
DUP Committee chairman Lord Morrow of Clogher Valley, deputy chairman Raymond McCartney (SF), SDLP Justice spokesman Alban Maginness and David McNarry (UUP) also gave their views on the impact locally accountable political scrutiny had had to date on the justice sector and their expectations of the justice system in the future.
Following a second stimulating question and answer session the conference drew to a close.

Speaking at the end of the event, Dr Maguire said: "I hope the 2011 Stakeholder Conference has been both thought provoking and stimulating for the delegates and panellists who have joined us here today.
"It has been both interesting and informative to hear the views of everyone present in relation to issues of oversight and accountability and hopefully the debates and discussions that have commenced at this event today will continue," he concluded.