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Courts of Northern Ireland

The courts of Northern Ireland are the civil and criminal courts responsible for the administration of justice in Northern Ireland: they are constituted and governed by the law of Northern Ireland.

Prior to the partition of Ireland, Northern Ireland was part of the courts system of Ireland. After partition, Northern Ireland's courts became separate from the court system of the Republic of Ireland. Northern Ireland continues to have a separate legal system to the rest of the United Kingdom. There are exceptions to that rule, such as in immigration and military law, for which there is a unified judicial system for the whole United Kingdom.

To overcome problems resulting from the intimidation of jurors and witnesses, the right to a jury trial in Northern Ireland was suspended for certain terrorist offences in 1972, and the so-called "Diplock courts" were introduced to try people charged with paramilitary activities. Diplock courts are common in Northern Ireland for crimes connected to terrorism.[1]

Administration of the courts is the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service.

  1. ^ "Two jailed for life for killing policeman Stephen Carroll". ITV News. 30 March 2012. They were tried in a 'diplock court' by a judge with no jury; common in Northern Ireland for crimes connected to terrorism.