Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland paramilitary organisations independent review panel named

By Claire Williamson

The three people who will oversee an independent review of paramilitary organisations in Northern Ireland have been named by the Secretary of State.

Theresa Villiers announced the panel members for the forthcoming factual assessment from the UK security agencies and the PSNI on the structure, role and purpose of paramilitary organisations in Northern Ireland.

They are: Lord Carlile of Berriew CBE QC , Rosalie Flanagan and Stephen Shaw QC

<< Read full profiles of the three panel members here >>

The assessment will be published by mid-October after it has been independently reviewed by the three and will be available to inform the Northern Ireland parties' discussions and conclusions in the cross party talks currently underway.

In a statement the Secretary of State said "collectively they have an in-depth knowledge of security issues, legal expertise, an understanding of Northern Ireland politics and political structures, as well as credibility and standing from across the community".

She said: "I am very grateful to each of the reviewers for agreeing to take on this important work. They are all highly respected individuals. I am confident that they will bring rigour, integrity and independence to this important task."

The announcement last Friday by the Secretary of State came as Stormont has been plunged into crisis following the murder of father-of-nine Kevin McGuigan in the Short Strand last month.

The subsequent political fall-out was sparked after the PSNI's assessment that members of the Provisional IRA were involved in the murder.

As a result the Ulster Unionist Party withdrew from the Executive and most recently Peter Robinson stepped aside as First Minister.

The DUP unsuccessfully sought twice to have the Assembly adjourned as they said it could not be "business as usual" and instead wanted to focus on crunch talks surrounding the political ramifications following the murder of the former IRA man.

The crisis talks got underway on Monday.

Read more:

Stormont crisis: Talks start with warning from angry Martin McGuinness of early breakdown

Martin McGuinness challenges parties to 'put up or shut up' over crime 'link'

Peter Robinson discharged from hospital ahead of Stormont talks

Secretary of State: Full statement on paramilitary organisations assessment


Lord Carlile of Berriew

Lord Carlile of Berriew, CBE, QC, is a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords. He is a practising barrister and former head of chambers of 9–12 Bell Yard barristers’ chambers. He was the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation from 2001 – 2011 and has been the independent reviewer of national security arrangements in Northern Ireland since 2007. He was the Liberal Democrat MP for Montgomeryshire from 1983-97.

Rosalie Flanagan

Rosalie Flanagan is a former Permanent Secretary at the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure. She had previously been Director of Executive Services in the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister, a position Ms Flanagan held from 2002 until 2010. She has also worked at the Department of Finance and Personnel.

Stephen Shaw QC

Stephen Shaw QC has been a Senior Counsel in Northern Ireland since December 2001. He was called to the Northern Ireland Bar in 1980. He has concentrated on commercial, chancery and public law work, embracing strategic advice as well as litigation, arbitration and mediation. He has acted for banks, public companies (plc) and private business, as well as local and central government.


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