DoJ – Social Aspects of Justice Event

Alternative approaches to justice system journeys for our citizens

The Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels was pleased to host the NICS Department of Justice, the Probation Board for Northern Ireland (PBNI), and the Youth Justice Agency of Northern Ireland (YJANI) on 15th November 2022, when they showcased their work on the social aspects of justice to representatives from a wide range of Brussels based organisations and representations.

ONIEB was delighted to collaborate with the Scottish Government EU Office on this event to welcome keynote contributions from Mark Goodfellow, Director of Safer Communities, Department of Justice Northern Ireland, and the Lord Advocate of Scotland, the Right Honourable Dorothy Bain KC, who led a discussion showcasing initiatives in Northern Ireland and Scotland focusing on the theme of “how we play a role in our society and for our citizens“.

The Rt Hon Dorothy Bain KC was appointed Lord Advocate in June 2021. Dorothy has extensive experience in both civil and criminal law. She qualified at the University of Aberdeen and began her career as an Advocate in 1994, taking silk in 2007. She has been instructed in cases at all levels, including the Court of Session (Inner and Outer House), Court of Criminal Appeal, High Court of Justiciary, United Kingdom Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights.

Mark Goodfellow is a career Civil Servant and is currently the Director of Safer Communities in the Department of Justice (DoJ), Northern Ireland. He is responsible for the resourcing, policy and legislative framework for policing and community safety across Northern Ireland, leading a team of 300 staff, with a budget of £18m Resource and a Programme Budget of £780m Resource.

The audience learned about the programme of initiatives aimed at restorative and problem solving justice in Northern Ireland and Scotland. As the EU looks to its own initiatives through the lens of the Victim’s Rights Directive reform, this event was an important way of contributing perspectives on successes from Northern Ireland’s Youth Justice Agency, Scotland’s Crown Office and Prosecution Service and the Probation Board for Northern Ireland to this vital discussion. The event provided a valuable insight into what can work for crime-affected communities, while bearing in mind the societal impacts of different justice interventions. The audience then enjoyed canapés and refreshments, including specialist whiskies and gins from Northern Ireland and Scotland, and took advantage of the opportunity to network in our Narnia event space.

Throughout their visit, the representatives from the NI organisations were able to make use of the ONIEB Hub, taking advantage of our hot-desking space known as ‘The Study’ to continue their work away from home. Overall, the visit was a very successful start to a series of events to be led by the Department of Justice Northern Ireland that will take place in our Brussels office, which will look at journeys through the justice system and will seek to discuss what lessons can be learned from EU member state stakeholders and partners.