Belfast Telegraph

Diplock trial provision extended in Northern Ireland

Non-jury trials in terrorist cases are to continue for two more years in Northern Ireland.

Secretary of State Owen Paterson said that after conducting a detailed analysis of the terrorist threat, he is laying before Parliament an order to extend Diplock trial provisions.

Non-jury trials were first introduced in Northern Ireland in 1972 by the then Law Lord, Lord Kenneth Diplock, as a response to witness intimidation by paramilitary groups.

They were strongly opposed by civil liberty organisations and both nationalists and republicans.

At their peak, more than 300 trials per year were being held in Diplock courts.

Mr Paterson said that while the use of non-jury trials has reduced significantly in recent years, it is necessary to renew the powers for a further two years in order to protect jurors from any potential risk posed by paramilitary groups.

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph