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Read the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission's response to the Department of Justice consultation on Charlotte’s Law.

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  • Government Departments

NIHRC response to the Department of Justice consultation on Charlotte’s Law

Last Updated: Monday, 14 February 2022

Date produced February 2022.

Below is a summary of the recommendations.

You can also download the full document through the links provided.

The Commission recommends:

  • 2.12 The Commission recommends that the Department gives full consideration to its human rights obligations, including under Protocol Article 2, in ensuring that victims have timely and accessible information regarding their case and are supported to meaningfully participate within the criminal justice proceedings, particularly with reference to the impact of non-disclosure.
  • 2.16 The Commission advises that the prevention of burial rites and/or payment of respects at the grave of a loved one should be considered in the context of its impact on the right to respect for family and private life, which is protected by Article 8 ECHR.
  • 3.3 The Commission recommends that judicial independence be the primary consideration so any statutory duty should be no more than to have regard to sentencing guidelines.
  • 3.7 The Commission recommends that the Department retains and highlights non-disclosure as an aggravating factor in tariff setting instead of placing it automatically into the very serious category.
  • 4.7 The Commission recommends that the Department takes a human rights based approach when considering legislative options which encourage a timely disclosure, including screening for compatibility with the ECHR.
  • 5.10 The Commission recommends that the Department ensure that any proposed legislative change complies with the Article 3 ECHR requirement that there must be a prospect of release.
  • 5.11 The Commission recommends that the Department ensure that the distinct roles of tariff setting and assessing risk are maintained by the Courts and Parole Commissioners.
  • 6.3 The Commission recommends that the Department conduct a Human Rights Impact Assessment before developing any new legislation, policies or practices, which takes account of all international human rights obligations.

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