Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

DebateNI home of Northern Ireland politics

Appointment of judicial members to the NI Judicial Appointments Commission

Stormont Executive press release - Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister

The First Minister, the Rt. Hon. Peter D. Robinson, MLA, and the deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness MLA, today announced the following Judicial and Lay Member re-appointments and new appointments to the Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission (NIJAC).

The Right Honourable Lord Justice Coghlin is to be re-appointed as a judicial member for a second term from 13 October 2013 to 6 November 2015.

Professor Nichola Rooney is to be re-appointed as a lay member for a second four year term as a lay member commencing on 17 June 2013 to 14 June 2017.

The following judicial members commenced their posts on 17 June 2013 for a five year term ending on 14 June 2018.
 

  • The Honourable Mr Justice Stephens,
  • His Honour Judge Kinney
  • District Judge (Magistrates ‘Courts) Prytherch
  • Mr Eoin Doyle, Lay Magistrate


Judicial members with the exception of the lay magistrate are not remunerated. Lay Magistrates and lay members, appointed to the commission receive a daily rate of £294.

Notes to editors:

1. NIJAC was established as a Non Departmental Public Body on 15 June 2005 under the Justice (NI) Act 2002 as amended by the Justice (NI) Act 2004. On the devolution of policing and justice powers in April 2010 the remit of the Commission was further expanded and NIJAC is currently responsible for selecting and appointing, or recommending for appointment, applicants in respect of all listed judicial offices up to and including High Court Judge.

2. The Commission comprises a Chairman who is the Lord Chief Justice and 12 other members:-

  • five Judicial Members;
  • two Legal Profession Members (a barrister nominated by the General Council of the Bar and a solicitor nominated by the Law Society); and
  • five Lay Members.


3. The Right Honourable Lord Justice Coghlin is to be re-appointed to NIJAC for a second term which will commence from 13 October 2013 when his first term expires. Lord Justice Coghlin was originally appointed in October 2008 and will have completed five years of service. The Lord Justice’s second term will be for 25 months and will expire on 6 November 2015. Lord Justice Coghlin will continue to contribute to the strategic direction and success of NIJAC drawing on his comprehensive understanding of the judicial system, strategic thinking and analytical skills. Lord Justice Coghlin does not hold any public appointments and has not undertaken any political activity.

4. Professor Nichola Rooney a Consultant Clinical Psychologist, with 27 years experience in the NHS. Professor Rooney is to be re-appointed for a second four year term as a lay member commencing on 17 June 2013 to 14 June 2017. Professor Rooney took up her original four term of appointment on 02 February 2009.

Professor Rooney will continue to support NIJAC’s strategic direction and success by drawing on her experiences in the public sector and her comprehensive understanding of the judicial appointment process.
She is currently Director of the Queen’s University Centre for Psychological Health and Well-being (QPsyC) and Specialty Advisor to the Chief Medical Officer for Psychological Therapies. Professor Rooney is also an independent assessor for public appointments. Professor Rooney does not hold any other public appointments and has not undertaken any political activity.

5. The following judicial members commenced their posts on 17 June 2013 for a five year term ending on 14 June 2018.

  • The Honourable Mr Justice Stephens, Mr Justice Stephens was appointed as a Judge of the High Court in January 2007.
  • His Honour Judge Kinney was appointed as a County Court Judge in September 2012.
  • District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts) Prytherch was appointed as a part-time District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts) in October 2005.
  • Mr Eoin Doyle, Lay Magistrate Mr Doyle was appointed as a lay magistrate in April 2005. Mr Doyle has served with the NI Fire and Rescue Service for 32 years and has recently retired from his post as Assistant Chief Fire Officer and is a member of the Corporate Management Team within the Service.


6. All the judicial members will be able to draw on their considerable understanding and experience of the Judicial System and membership of tribunals and advisory committees. The will be able to draw on a range of experiences that will enable them to consider options and exercise judgment and make sound decisions contributing to the strategic direction and challenges faced by the Commission None of the appointees hold any other public appointments

7. These appointments have been made in accordance with the CPA NI Code of Practice. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, the Commissioner for Public Appointments requires the political activity of appointees to be published. None of the appointees have undertaken any political activity.

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