[Sinn Fein]

11th February 2002

Sinn Fein in London to lobby on Criminal Justice Review

Sinn Fein Chairperson, Mitchel Mc Laughlin will be in London tomorrow, Tuesday 12 February to meet MP's from the three main parties as part of our ongoing lobbying on the Criminal Justice Review presently at the Committee stage in the British House of Commons.

Those that Mr Mc Laughlin is scheduled to meet with are Tory Lead Member on the Commons Committee, Crispin Blount MP, Liberal Democrat Members, Lembit Opik MP and Patsy Calton MP and Labour Committee members, Tony Walters MP and Jim Dobbin MP.

The Sinn Fein and Foyle MLA will also have separate private meetings with Kevin Mc Namara MP and Jeremy Corbyn MP.

Following the round of political meetings Mr Mc Laughlin will meet a number of influential British and International Journalists for individual briefings on the Sinn Fein analysis of the current state of play in the Irish Peace Process.

Before leaving for London the Sinn Fein Chairperson and Criminal Justice spokesperson said:

``This visit to London is one of a series of such lobbying exercises that Sinn Fein is involved in to ensure that the Criminal Justice Review is given the attention that it requires if we are to prevent the mistakes of the Patten Review and subsequent legislation.

We have tested this Review, the proposed legislation and Implementation Plan against its ability to move us further from conflict by removing the causes of the conflict.

It is Sinn Fein's opinion that much more work needs to be done if we are to avoid pitfalls and another missed opportunity to effectively address injustice, unrepresentativeness and inequality.

As much as with the RUC and policing, the Criminal Justice System was central in the British and unionist parties strategy of defeating republicanism and keeping nationalists in subservience This it failed to do. Much more needs to be done before what is presently proposed could transform the Criminal Justice System into what nationalists and republicans could feel part of and as equals within it.

That is what I will be impressing on those politicians and journalists that I meet tomorrow.''

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