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Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 2016

Section 43: Powers of Ombudsman

This Section confers powers on the Ombudsman of entry into a prison, juvenile justice centre or any other premises occupied by the Department for the purposes of its functions under the Prison Act (NI) 1953 (Section 43(1) and (2)).  The Ombudsman may also require the production of documents or other information (Section 43(3)). This Section creates the offence of obstruction of the Ombudsman, the penalty for which is a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale (Section 43(4)).

It is expected that the Ombudsman will continue to rely on good investigative practices and the contractual obligations of staff in ensuring cooperation from witnesses, however this power will enable the Ombudsman to ensure the provision of relevant information from key witnesses in event of non-cooperation.

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Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.


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