01/02/2005

Commission tackles Government on Rathgael conditions

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (HRC) is taking the government to court today in order to win the right to monitor conditions at the Juvenile Justice Centre in Rathgael, Bangor.

The Commission said it had sought a judicial review of the decision by the Northern Ireland Office not to grant it access rights to the Centre.

The HRC wants to check whether the recommendations contained in its report 'In Our Care: Promoting the Rights of Children in Custody', published in March 2002, are being properly implemented.

The report made a number of findings regarding the treatment of young offenders in the juvenile justice system.

Professor Brice Dickson, Chief Commissioner of the HRC: “We are extremely disappointed that we have had to go to these lengths to gain access to the Rathgael Centre.

“Given the announcement by the Secretary of State (Paul Murphy) in December that we would be given the right to visit places of detention, it is frustrating that we still have to take legal action in order to complete our review of conditions for children held in this facility.”

Meanwhile, a new report by academics has questioned the effectiveness of the Commission.

In a two-year study by two professors from Bristol University and Queen's University in Belfast, the report said that while the Commission had achieved positive outcomes in some areas, its effectiveness in a number of areas is disputed.

Placing responsibility for the failings partly on the government, the report was critical of the NIO.

The report was compiled by Dr Rachel Murray of the University of Bristol and the late Professor Stephen Livingstone of Queen's University.

(MB/SP)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

08 June 2005
Queen’s to debate future of Human Rights Commissions
The future of Human Rights Commissions in the UK and Ireland will be examined at Queen's University Belfast this week. The Human Rights Centre at the Queen's School of Law, in co-operation with the Faculty of Law, University of Bristol, will hold a half-day conference in Belfast on Friday on the role of both Commissions.
06 November 2019
Other News In Brief
DUP's David Simpson Not Standing As MP DUP MP David Simpson has announced he will not contest the upcoming election to retain his seat in Westminster. The outgoing Upper Bann MP won the seat in 2005 and referenced his well-documented extramarital affair when announcing he will not stand again.
04 November 2019
Shock As Vehicle Rammed On Homeless Charity Building
A building operated by a homeless charity in Belfast has been damaged by a vehicle rammed through its front. Police are seeking witnesses to the incident at the Welcome Organisation on Townsend Street at roughly 12.45am this morning, Monday 04 November. The centre provides life-saving services to the homeless population in Belfast.
30 October 2019
East Belfast Leisure Centre Almost Complete
Construction on a £20 million leisure centre in east Belfast is almost complete. Lisnasharragh Leisure Centre is set to open to the public this December on the site of the former Robinson Centre on Montgomery Road.
24 November 2017
Majority Believes Bonfire Organisers Should Be Held To Account For Damage
Nine out of 10 people in Northern Ireland believe that the organisers of bonfires should be held responsible if damage is caused to property or injuries, according to a new report. 'Bonfires, Flags, Identity and Cultural Traditions', has been released by ARK, a joint initiative between Queen's University Belfast and Ulster University.