NI society wants local solutions

LAW Society of Northern Ireland president Andrew Carnson told MPs at the House of ommons last week: “There must be Northern Ireland solutions for Northern Ireland problems.”

The society was holding an open day, sponsored by solicitor-MPs, Peter Temple-Morris, Jonathan Evans, Elfyn LLwyd and John Fraser, to highlight its concerns over the need for sensitivity and flexibility in dealing with and legislating for Northern Ireland in the post-troubles period.

“The society itself is not a subsidiary of the Law Society in England and Wales,” Carnson said, emphasising the differences in the Northern Ireland legal system.

He also stressed the need for MPs to consult society members on local matters

He said: “Now that there is a real prospect of lasting peace in Northern Ireland, it is even more important that local concerns are sympathetically addressed, local fears allayed and that proper regard is paid to local sensibilities.”

He confirmed that a working party had been set up in consultation with the Lord Chancellor to investigate the legal aid system in Northern Ireland and to “redesign” the system.

The working party is expected to publish its proposals next June.

He advised that any change in the current system of compensation for criminal injury to one which was tariff-based could not be viewed “with any enthusiasm” by “a population which is just emerging from 25 years of death and injury from civil unrest”.