Belfast Telegraph

International delegations learning from Northern Ireland’s experience

Stormont Executive press release - Department of Justice

Justice Minister David Ford today met with senior representatives from the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Macedonia during their visit to Northern Ireland.

During their five day visit, the group is visiting a range of justice and oversight agencies to exchange experiences and learn from Northern Ireland.

This is the third international delegation the Minister has met recently, having previously welcomed a delegation from Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Burmah. Officials from Bahrain also plan a visit in 2014.

The Minister outlined to the international visitors the strategic landscape of policing and justice and the journey of reform over the past 15 years, with specific focus on the impact of devolution on oversight and accountability for policing.

David Ford said: “This is an excellent opportunity for the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Macedonia to exchange views and ideas with various justice and oversight agencies within Northern Ireland. I know that the group are keen to learn from our experiences since devolution, and to share their knowledge gained within their own jurisdictions. 

“We have agencies in place which we can be rightly proud of, and which other countries can learn from. It is vital that we work closely with our European neighbours to share our experiences in areas such as the protection of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.”

The group is meeting the Criminal Justice Inspectorate, the Northern Ireland Policing Board, the Police Ombudsman, and the PSNI during the visit, and will be discussing various issues, particularly the area of handling citizens’ complaints and effective investigation methods regarding police operations, as well as the functioning and the mandate of the external oversight mechanisms.

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