HC Deb 15 November 2001 vol 374 c834W
Mr. McNamara

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps he has taken to set mechanisms in place for the re-introduction of trial by jury following the most recent report of General de Chastelain. [13913]

Jane Kennedy

The mechanism for reviewing trials without jury in Northern Ireland is already in place. The Northern Ireland specific emergency provisions as contained at part VII of the Terrorism Act 2000 (which came into force on 19 February 2001) are time-limited to five years and subject to annual renewal; its provisions can be phased out by order, individually if appropriate, as soon as the security situation allows. Section 75 of the Act relating to mode of trial on indictment which falls within part VII is therefore subject to this process.

Influencing factors relating to the re-introduction of trial by jury will be the risk of juror intimidation; the subsequent risk of perverse verdicts; and an assessment of the level of threat/security situation. The annual report(s) of the independent reviewer of the Terrorism Act 2000 will assist in informing future decisions and parliamentary debates on part VII of the Act.