The Irish News (subs reqd) is reporting today that there are 2 people in the final contest for the post of permanent Victims Commissioner. Mike Nesbitt is a former UTV news anchor who left the station early last year in what was described as a surprising move at the time. The other contender is Dr Marie Breen Smith, reader in International politics at the University of Wales. Marie was the co-author of the COTTS report. She is also the former Director of the Institute of Conflict Research in Belfast.
According to the Irish News Report, the final decision on the post will have to be made by cross party ratification. I was surprised that the IN carried the story as ‘Newsman favourite for Victim’s Job’. I am not familiar with Mike Nesbitt’s work or publications on Victims issues, an essential criterion for the post. I am sure if anyone has information on it, they will share it with the class. Marie Smith on the other hand has a vast body of work on victims issues, and sounds like a good candidate for the post.