The SDLP supports substantive reforms to the criminal justice system to deliver faster, fairer justice with increased accountability. This is best achieved by introducing clear timelines for bringing a case to court and increasing communication between victims, the PSNI and the Public Prosecution Service.
The SDLP will fight against cuts to legal aid and the closure of courthouses, to ensure that everyone has affordable and accessible justice. The SDLP believes the single most effective way to fight crime and make our communities safer is to have a visible police presence. We recognise the impact that a decade of Tory austerity has had on community policing and we support increasing resource to the PSNI to ensure that they can operate effectively and efficiently to meet the needs of victims of crime.
There is a continuing and urgent need to comprehensively and ethically address the legacy of the Past and the needs of victims and survivors. This would be one of the single greatest contributions to reconciliation and healing.
Successive British Governments have been clear they will seek to protect their wider state interests in relation to addressing the past and in multiple ways, they will resist accountability. In this critical period on addressing the past, SDLP MPs and MLAs will continue to challenge the British Government's unilateral departure from the Stormont house Agreement and agreed legacy structures.