We have a strong record on delivering criminal justice reform to strengthen protections for victims and survivors of crime. The Green Party NI has ensured that victims and survivors of domestic abuse now have access to legal aid, and that there will be stronger sentencing thresholds where children have been negatively impacted by domestic abuse.
Justice policy should focus on crime prevention and the reduction of re-offending. It’s time to prioritise cost-effective early intervention, which is crucial to tackling the causes of crime.
The Green Party will:
- Ensure a greater focus on tackling domestic and sexual violence and abuse, including the provision of additional statutory support for victims. We will support and introduce a robust and funded strategy to tackle Violence Against Women and Girls and seek to change legislation in line with the Gillen Review recommendations.
- Update hate crime legislation to include misogyny and age-related crimes and ensure greater protections against disability hate crime.
- Oppose any attempt by the UK Government to introduce an amnesty for conflict-related cases.
- Raise the age of criminal responsibility to 14 in line with UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) recommendations and implement the outstanding recommendations of the Youth Justice Review 2011.
- Implement Criminal Justice Inspection NI recommendations into Child Sexual Exploitation and the use of Care and Supervision Units in prisons. We will implement RQIA recommendations on prisoner and prison officer mental health.
- Expand the legal aid system and ensure that those who need access to justice and representation have it.
- Focus on community safety, reducing crime and the fear of crime. Further invest in restorative justice, including the new Adult Restorative Justice Strategy.