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Allister challenges Orde's attack on Judiciary

28 April 2004

DUP European election candidate, Jim Allister QC, has today responded to the Chief Constable’s attack on Northern Ireland’s judiciary.


Jim Allister said, "The Chief Constable's attack on Ulster's Judiciary is unwarranted. There is no basis in fact to suggest that our Judiciary are softer on crime than elsewhere in the British Isles. On many types of crime our Court of Appeal have set sentencing guidelines and in no instance are they lower than the equivalent guidelines set in GB. Indeed for some crimes the guidelines set in Northern Ireland are higher.  It is, therefore, wrong for Hugh Orde to misrepresent and besmirch our independent Judiciary.


It is particularly inappropriate and bad form that his attack should be launched from abroad.


We all want to see paramilitaries and criminals caught and serving a prison sentence for their crimes. Hugh Orde is merely seeking headlines rather than addressing the real issue. This political Chief Constable has an unhealthy inclination to try and interfere in the independent judicial process. His frequent attacks on the bail process are yet another example.


The greatest assault in recent years on the credibility of the judicial process  was the Belfast Agreement's early release scheme, which made a mockery of due process of law whereby sentences imposed for the most heinous of crimes were set aside as a sop to terrorism.  If Mr Orde wants to address the real issues undermining the judicial and sentencing process, then let him start there."

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NI politics