Sat, 22 Jan 2022

Long launches public consultation on 'Charlotte's Law'

Northern Ireland Executive
29 Nov 2021, 22 GMT+10

Justice Minister Naomi Long has launched a public consultation on proposals for 'Charlotte's Law'.

The consultation follows a review of current law in relation to disclosure of information on the locations of victims' remains by those convicted of their killing.

The review examined the need for new legislation similar to 'Helen's Law' which was introduced in England and Wales, and whether a bespoke change in the law should be made in Northern Ireland, to be known as 'Charlotte's Law' inspired by a campaign led by the family of Charlotte Murray.

The consultation paper provides a summary of the Charlotte's Law review decisions and seeks views on those proposed measures would require legislation for their implementation.

Justice Minister Naomi Long said: "I have listened to families express the despair and trauma they endure when a loved one is killed and their remains are not located.  Their pain and ongoing anguish cannot be underestimated. 

"I gave a commitment to give careful consideration to the need for changes to current law, and if change is appropriate, how this could best be tailored for Northern Ireland. I am determined to make important changes to bring some  comfort to those who must endure the daily pain of not knowing what happened to their loved ones.

"My Department has carried out a review of the position in Northern Ireland, engaging with victims' families and those agencies and bodies involved at every stage of the criminal justice process.   A range of suggested solutions has been produced, some of which I have agreed for immediate implementation, while others will require changes to legislation.

"I believe that we have a responsibility to do all that we can to help those families, and consider that a bespoke approach for Northern Ireland offers the best hope of securing disclosure.

"This consultation seeks your views on the need for new legislation, and on any other possible solutions.  I encourage those with an interest in this area to engage with this important process."

The consultation will run for a period of 10 weeks from Monday 29 November until Monday 7 February 2022.

The consultation and further information is available on the NI Direct website

or alternatively at the consultation section of this website

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