SDLP MP Sinéad McLaughlin said victims whose cases are currently being processed through the criminal justice system are becoming the latest victims of the dysfunctional Stormont.
It follows reports that the backlog of court cases could take until 2028 to clear without additional resources.
Ms McLaughlin has written to Justice Minister Naomi Long seeking clarification on the steps the Minister proposes to take to address this significant challenge.
The MP for Foyle said: ‘The news that the current backlog of court cases in the system may not be cleared until 2028 will be deeply concerning for many in our society, but especially for the victims who cannot simply not risk waiting that long for justice.
“The emotional toll of these long waits is extremely damaging to victims, many of whom are often re-traumatized by their experience of the courts and the constant delays they may experience.
“This is especially true in cases like those relating to sexual offences, which can take the longest to process. Such delays can also obviously have a significant financial association for the system, giving the impression to the public that the department is not getting its money’s worth.
“While Covid-19 has undoubtedly exacerbated this challenge, it is also fair to note that these challenges existed before the pandemic and that a much more comprehensive approach is needed in order to fix our failing justice system which has failed victims. for too long.
“It is clear that the victims are becoming another victim of Stormont’s paralysis. However, even in the absence of an executive, we must do everything possible to remedy this situation.
“That is why I have written to the Minister for Justice asking what steps she has taken to remedy this situation since the start of her new mandate and what engagement she has had with the Minister for Finance and the British Government to explore possible investment options to address the backlog urgently.
“We must explore all avenues to remedy the significant and unacceptable situation facing victims of crime.”
“Victims of the criminal justice system are the latest victims of Stormont’s dysfunction” was last modified: August 4, 2022 by