Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. A Department of Regional Development officials briefed the Culture, Arts and Leisure committee on the inquiry into issues around emergency exiting plans for the redeveloped Casement Park stadium.
  2. Committee members also considered the Committee Legacy Report 2011-2016.
  3. The PSNI and the Public Prosecution Service presented a progress report to the Justice Committee on reducing delays in the criminal justice system.

Live Reporting

By Robin Sheeran and Brooke Allen

All times stated are UK

  1. The committee adjourns

    Mr Ross adjourns the meeting.

    Join us again on Monday morning at 12:00 GMT for coverage of a full plenary session of the Assembly including a debate on the final stage of the Justice Bill.

  2. 'Whoop, whoop!'

    Mr Ross says this is the final meeting before the election.

    "I've been asked to say 'whoop,whoop!' from the committee staff in the briefing notes," he adds.

  3. High level of adjournments

    Mr Kennedy says there seems to be a very high level of adjournments and asks why.

    Mr McQuillan says that "if we can work with the police to get a better quality of file submitted to ourselves, get a decision right first time and get that before the court, our hope is that will lead to a reduction in the adjournments".

  4. 'It confuses us'

    Danny Kennedy

    Ulster Unionist Danny Kennedy says there are a lot of figures and that "is useful for you because it confuses us".

    Ms Pearson says "you're absolutely right on the data. We need to present the data in a way that aids the committee to keep us under scrutiny".

  5. Crown court delays

    Ciaran McQuillan
    Image caption: Ciaran McQuillan

    Mr Ross puts it to the witnesses that the targets for the crown court have been "quite a bit off the target" with an average of 517 days per case against a target of 378.

    Ciaran McQuillan says he accepts that "performance in the crown court is not as good as in the magistrates court or the youth court".

    He says "these are obviously more complex cases" and that each of the stages "can cause delay, and avoidable delay".

  6. Reducing Avoidable Delay in the Criminal Justice System

    Ciaran McQuillan, Karen Pearson and Stephen Cargin.

    Karen Pearson of the Department of Justice (DOJ), Chief Superintendent Stephen Cargin of the PSNI and Ciaran McQuillan of the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) arrive to give their briefing on Reducing Avoidable Delay in the Criminal Justice System.

  7. In the chair

    Alastair Ross

    The DUP's Alastair Ross is chairing this afternoon's meeting.

  8. Ian Paisley MP fined for driving without insurance

    Ian Paisley Junior

    Ian Paisley has been fined £250 for driving without insurance and given six penalty points after being stopped by police in Lisburn in February.  

    The North Antrim MP did not appear in court earlier but a solicitor representing him said it was an oversight and that Mr Paisley did not know he was uninsured.  

  9. Welcome back

    This afternoon we have live coverage of the Justice Committee.

    Representatives of the Department of Justice, PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) and the PPS (Public Prosecution Service) are briefing members on Reducing Avoidable Delay in the Criminal Justice System.

  10. Lunch time

    The committee has gone into closed session. 

    We will return at 14:00 GMT with the Justice Committee when the Police and the Public Prosecution Service will be presenting a progress report on reducing avoidable delay in the criminal justice system. 

  11. Mark H Durkan: Environment Minister apologises for abortion comment

    Mark H Durkan

    The environment minister has apologised for a controversial comment he made about abortion at a women's event.

    Mark H Durkan was criticised for remarks he made at the launch of a women's manifesto in Londonderry on Wednesday.

    He said: "Let's address the elephant in the room - or should that be the elephant in the womb?"

    The comments came during his opening address to other panellists and an audience of up to 80 women.

  12. Committee Legacy Report

    Committee members are now considering the Committee Legacy Report 2011-2016. 

  13. Committee members 'dissatisfied'

    Mr McCausland says quite a few committee members have been left "dissatisfied at the way this has been handled". 

    "The assembly term is coming to an end and there has been a lot of money spent and not a brick laid", he says.  

    Mr Humphries says there was an inconsistency in the information they were provided last week

    Mr McCausland says it is "the inconsistencies and lack of clarity" that creates the problems. 

  14. 'We have all suffered'

    Cathal Ó hOisín

    Sinn Féin's Cathal Ó hoisin says it is his contention that "a different criteria was applied" throughout the process to Casement.

    "We have all suffered because of that", he says. 

    Mr Humphries asks Mr May why he did not tell the minister about the concerns of emergency exiting when he was chairing the sponsor board meetings in the absence of the minister. 

    "The problem for me and the the tax payers of Northern Ireland is that £7m has been spent and the stadium has not been built", he says. 

    Mr May says the sponsor board minutes would have been passed to the minister. 

  15. 'Inadequate and unlawful approach'

    Basil McCrea

    NI21's Basil McCrea says Justice Horner determined that the planning information was 'fundamentally flawed' and it was deemed an 'inadequate and unlawful approach'. 

    He says, in terms of the planning application submitted in June 2013, everything happened in one day and it "did not give adequate time for reflection" and seemed to be "undue haste".

    Mr May says if the department had taken days, weeks or months to assess, they may not have reached a different conclusion. 

    He says the "specific issue around the Andersonstown Road not being available for an emergency exit" was not raised until the Autumn of 2013. 

  16. 'Necessary preparatory work'

    Rosie McCorley

    Sinn Féin's Rosie McCorley asks about the £7m spent on Casement Park already. 

    Mr May says it is "entirely normal" to spend a percentage of the total budget for a project in advance of work being started on the ground. 

    Ms McCorley says the money has been spent on "necessary preparatory work" and she would not consider that a waste of money. 

    She asks what extra benefits come to communities as a result of projects like Casement Park. 

    Mr May explains that all three stadia (Windsor Park, Kingspan Stadium and Casement Park) would allow the community to benefit from investment in sport including bringing the "long term unemployed" into the construction process. 

  17. Department was 'asleep at the wheel'

    Mr McCausland says this seems to be "dereliction of duty" and it seems as if the department was "asleep at the wheel". 

    Mr May says he disagrees with this.  

    Ulster Unionist Leslie Cree asks if there was a culture in the department of "no negative ways" in respect to the Casement Park project. 

    Mr May says there was a "delivery focus" to carry the stadium through to completion and the department officials were all "committed to trying to achieve that" and the work that was done was all with that in mind. 

  18. Troubles legacy inquests: Victims commissioner welcomes five-year plan

    Vincent Kearney

    BBC News NI Home Affairs Correspondent

    Sir Declan Morgan
    Image caption: Sir Declan Morgan has proposed setting up a legacy inquest unit

    Victims Commissioner Judith Thompson has welcomed a five-year plan by the most senior judge in Northern Ireland to deal with legacy inquests into some of the most controversial killings of the Troubles.

    The 56 cases involve 95 deaths, and include killings by police officers and soldiers, and others where there are allegations of collusion.

    The Lord Chief Justice, Sir Declan Morgan, wants to establish a new legacy inquest unit and a new electronic data management system to cope with the huge quantity of documentation involved in the cases.

    Speaking at a victims and survivors conference in Belfast on Wednesday, Sir Declan said his plan will require the provision of additional resources.