Lyons: Gillen recommendations are a challenge to us all
Speaking after proposing the motion Cllr Lyons said:
“The Gillen review is a challenge to us all and highlights areas in which victims of serious sexual crimes are clearly being failed. I’m glad the Council recognised the need to reform our criminal justice system and re-centre the process on the needs of the victim.
“As well as addressing more modern challenges posed by social media, the review also addresses some longstanding and central tenets of our justice system. These range from legal aid, the use of video links, educational campaigns and steps to ensure the swift delivery of justice.
“Questions around public access to trials and the anonymity of the accused will always provoke strong opinions but they also demand a thoughtful approach. While I wouldn’t agree with all of the recommendations in the report, for example I think the proposed role for restorative justice is flawed, I do think John Gillen has been thoughtful and considered overall.
“Sexual crime and men’s violence against women is everyone’s concern and while I would particularly encourage women to take part in this consultation, I would also encourage men to support the White Ribbon campaign and realise they have a significant role in disrupting the legitimisation. While some of the recommendations will require legislation, many don’t. The seriousness of this topic demands a thorough discussion and for us all to rise to the challenge.”