New clause 5 - Equality Duty

Part of Justice (Northern Ireland) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 10:00 am ar 14 Chwefror 2002.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Mr Seamus Mallon Mr Seamus Mallon Social Democratic and Labour Party, Newry and Armagh 10:00, 14 Chwefror 2002

I thank the Minister for those remarks. Of course, in those circumstances, the DPP must surely decide on merit. There is no doubt about that. However, the need to make a decision on merit does not prevent him from applying the other requirements under section 75. It is stretching the argument too far to suggest a hypothetical situation in which the DPP is wrestling to decide a case on its merits and at the same time wondering what the effect might be on community relations. I cannot imagine any DPP who is worth his salt looking at a case in that way. I am grateful to the Minister for his intervention, but I am still not convinced.

I want to make two other points. The first concerns perception. We have a new Bill that introduces a new approach to justice in a new political dispensation in a new millennium and century-