Terms of reference published for inspection of the handling of sexual offences cases in N.I.


CJI has today published its terms of reference for its inspection of the handling of sexual offences cases in Northern Ireland.

The Inspectorate was invited to undertake this work in September 2010 by the Minister of Justice, David Ford MLA, after issues were identified in relation to the handling of the case of the McDermott case in Donagh, Co Fermanagh. View more.

The aim of the inspection is to examine the effectiveness of justice agencies in dealing with sexual offences cases to the point of disposal. 

It will assess:
  • the adequacy of the communication arrangements with victims at each state of such cases up to the point of disposal;
  • the quality of administrative practices and process in relevant justice agencies; and
  • the quality of interagency communication and collaborative working on case progression and disposal.
 Speaking after the terms of reference were agreed, the Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice in Northern Ireland, Dr Michael Maguire said: “Fieldwork for this inspection is now underway and we will be providing our interim findings by the end of October.
“As part of the final report, Inspectors will aim to make recommendations which will further strengthen the way in which cases of this nature are handled.
“The manner in which criminal justice agencies engage with victims of sexual offences and work together will form a key part of the inspection,” he said.
CJI aims to publish its final report at the earliest opportunity.