Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 April 2014

DebateNI home of Northern Ireland politics

Ford welcomes 99% accuracy record in Court Orders

Stormont Executive press release - Department of Justice

Justice Minister David Ford has welcomed a Criminal Justice Inspection report which recognises the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service (NICTS) achievements in strengthening the administrative arrangements for recording court orders.

The Minister said: "This is an encouraging report which recognises the positive efforts made by the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service in improving the accuracy of recording court orders.”

The Minister was responding to the publication of a Criminal Justice Inspection report into the recording of criminal court orders which found that significant improvements made by NICTS in its administrative arrangements has resulted in an accuracy level of 99.2% in all criminal court orders.

The Inspectors were pleased with the significant progress made since an earlier 2010 inspection of recording court orders in serious sexual abuse cases.

The report highlights the investment made by the NICTS in reviewing its checking mechanisms and implementing improvements in these processes and systems. There are no report recommendations but the report does identify four areas for improvement which could help to further strengthen the existing arrangements.

David Ford said: "An earlier Criminal Justice Inspection report in 2010 exposed a number of weaknesses in the administrative processes for recording court orders in serious sexual abuse cases and as a result NICTS introduced a range of measures aimed at increasing the accurate recording of all criminal court orders. It is important that the public and all users of the criminal justice system have confidence that court orders are accurately recorded and effectively communicated.

"I am pleased that the Inspectors have recognised the significant improvement NICTS has made in strengthening the administrative arrangements for court order recording. An accuracy level of 99.2% is significant and continued work will be done to maintain and improve on this.”

Notes to editors:

1. The NICTS records over 360,000 criminal court orders each year.

2. Inspectors found there was an accuracy level of 99.2% for criminal court orders.

3. The number of detected errors – 0.8% – that required some form of amendment were identified and remedied by the NICTS before any adverse outcomes occurred.