Victims Commissioner appointment to be challenged

It’s amazng how much of Northern Ireland’s political business gets conducted in court. The latest judicial challenge is to the appointment of Victims Commissioner, Bertha McDougall on the grounds that she does not command cross community support. This is one to keep an eye on. Where it to succeed it might have an interesting effect on many other such public appointments. Thanks to Sheila for the heads up!

  • Shore Road Resident

    Who’s funding this case?

  • missfitz

    Well, its going to be interesting…. If widows of policemen are the top of the chain in the hierarchy of victims, does Mrs Downes stand a chance?

  • Bunter

    Good question, SHore road. I’d bet dollars to donuts its not the Widow Downes

  • alfredo

    idiots! can’t you see what’s going on here, that the hand of the securocrats is behind all this, sending money anonymously to mrs downes to fund her legal case in the hope that bertha will get bounced and unionists made even less inclined to share power with the chucks! the guile and cunning of the securocrats knows no bounds! there is nothing they will not do to frustrate the democratic will of the people! beware!

  • elfinto

    Parades Commission next!

  • Yoda

    It’s amazng how much of Northern Ireland’s political business gets conducted in court.

    Sure where else would it be done?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Just out of interest, has the Victims’ Commissioner made any public statement since she was appointed? It’s not as if victims aren’t a big issue or anything.

    What’s she been doing? How much am I paying her?

  • missfitz

    Actaully Gonzo, I havent heard any statement at all since the appointment. I was surprised on the occasion that Stephen Nolan did a show on victims’ experiences a few weeks back, she was unavailable. It would have been a very good forum for her to make her presence felt.

    Out of interest, I referred someone to her recently, and still waiting to hear his outcome.

  • wild turkey

    The issue here would appear to be the extent to which the appointment is consistent with the Code of Practice (2005) issued by The Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland. below are some relevant extracts.

    If political considerations informed the appointment than it may, emphasis may, appear to be in contravention to the code. also with reference to section 75, there is a statutory duty to have ‘regard for the desirability of promoting good relations’…hmmm

    question to shore road and bunters. who do you think is funding the case? i’ll wager its NOT the govt minister who explicitly targets funds at one community rather than disadvantage wherever it occurs.

    excuse me but warren zevons poor poor pitiful me has just come on the radio

    code of practice below

    later

    EXTRACTS: The Commissioner for public appointments for northern ireland: code of practice

    • The Principles •
    2.1 These are the seven principles that underpin the Code of Practice. They
    come directly from recommendations by the Committee on Standards in Public
    Life (Nolan: First Report, May 1995). They are the foundations of the public
    appointments process and are designed to ensure appointment on merit and a
    quality outcome.
    MERIT (AND DIVERSITY)
    2.4 Appointment on merit is the overriding principle within the appointments
    process. However, in line with the Nolan Committee’s original recommendations,
    criteria for selection can take account of the need to appoint boards which include
    a balance of skills and experience. Nonetheless,
    • departments must guard against positive discrimination,
    • political activity cannot be used as a criterion for selection, unless there is
    a statutory requirement to do so.

    EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES
    2.7 The principles of equal opportunity and diversity are not only socially just, but
    will benefit any board to which they are applied. Individuals from all sections of
    society may have much to offer a public body, by virtue of their diverse
    experience and background. Departments should ensure, in the appointments
    process, that they comply with the statutory duty under section 75 of the Northern
    Ireland Act 1998, to have due regard to the need to promote equality of
    opportunity (between persons of different religious belief, political opinion, racial
    group, age, marital status or sexual orientation; between men and women
    generally; between persons with a disability and persons without; and between
    persons with dependants and persons without) and that they have regard to the
    desirability of promoting good relations between persons of different religious
    belief, political opinion, or racial group.
    2.8 The principles of equal opportunity and diversity must be inherent within the
    appointments process. Departments must also take care not to unlawfully
    discriminate against any group.

  • Brendan, Belfast

    elfinto says: “Parades commission next”

    the PC is already subject to a legal challenge from some residents group over its nake up. these guys are not slow off the mark!