Attorney general John Larkin to step down in June

By Jayne McCormack
BBC News NI Political Reporter

  • Published
Charles LarkinImage source, Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker

John Larkin is to step down as the attorney general for Northern Ireland at the end of June.

He took up the position in April 2010, after justice responsibilities were devolved to Northern Ireland.

No-one is set to replace him yet, with a number of options for "interim arrangements" being considered.

The first and deputy first ministers say the Executive Office will begin a selection process to appoint Mr Larkin's successor.

They thanked him for his "tireless and invaluable work" over the past decade.

In January, Mr Larkin was appointed a temporary High Court judge, but said he would not take up the post until his term as Attorney General came to an end.

Mr Larkin was first appointed as chief legal adviser to the Stormont Executive with the intention of serving a four-year term.

The Belfast-born barrister held a range of roles, including professor of criminal law at Trinity College in Dublin, before becoming Attorney General.

He was reappointed in 2014 and again in 2015.

When Stormont was stalled last February, the Secretary of State Karen Bradley took back some public appointment powers and renewed Mr Larkin's role again.

Drawing controversy after his tenure began, at one stage he proposed a ban on any further Troubles prosecutions.

His views on abortion and same-sex marriage, as well as interventions on court cases about these issues, also provoked criticism.