Clause 87 - Transitionals and savings

Part of Justice (Northern Ireland) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 11:15 am ar 14 Chwefror 2002.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Des Browne Des Browne Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Northern Ireland Office, Parliamentary Secretary (Northern Ireland Office) 11:15, 14 Chwefror 2002

I note what the hon. Member for Montgomeryshire says. I know that he has an interest in and knowledge of astronomy, but I found it mildly amusing to have a Liberal Democrat talk about a steady state. I am sure that his understanding of it has been of no political assistance to him.

Amendment No. 209 would remove the provision that would continue the appointment of the current Director and Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions in the new Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland. Like the hon. Member for Reigate, I understand the opinion of my hon. Friend the Member for Newry and Armagh that the new prosecution service should represent a completely fresh start with new personnel. I understand why he makes those arguments, although I do not agree with all his reasons. What my hon. Friend suggests is not practicable or desirable.

The department of the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland is a new department and, as the hon. Member for Reigate noted, it will be going through a massive expansion. It will also be taking on a large range of new functions. As I said in an intervention on the hon. Member for Reigate, the knowledge and experience of the current director and deputy director will be crucial in ensuring that the change is successful.

It being twenty-five minutes past Eleven o'clock, The Chairman adjourned the Committee without Question put, pursuant to the Standing Order.

Adjourned till this day at half-past Two o'clock.