Foreign Travel Advice - UK

Appointment of Commissioners to the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the Right Honourable Brandon Lewis MP has today announced the appointment of six Commissioners to the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission who will take up office on 1 September 2020.

The successful candidates, who will serve for a period of 3 years, are as follows:

  • Helen Henderson
  • Jonathan Kearney
  • David Lavery
  • Maura Muldoon
  • Edmond Rooney
  • Stephen White

Speaking earlier today Mr Lewis said:

I am delighted to make these appointments to the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, under the leadership of Chief Commissioner, Les Allamby, continues to play an important role in keeping under review the adequacy and effectiveness in protecting human rights and promoting understanding and awareness of the importance of human rights in Northern Ireland’s increasingly diverse society.

Notes for Editors

Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission is a national human rights institution with an ‘A’ status accreditation from the United Nations (UN). The Commission is funded by the UK Government but is an independent public body that operates in full accordance with the UN Paris Principles.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is responsible under the Northern Ireland Act 1998 for making appointments to the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.

More information can be found on the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission website

Terms of appointment

The positions are part-time appointments for three years.

The positions attract a fixed remuneration of £7,500 per annum for a commitment of approximately three days a month.

These positions are not pensionable.

Biography of Appointees

Helen Henderson is currently Managing Director of St Columb’s Park House, a peace and reconciliation centre and is a serving Harbour Commissioner.

Jonathan Kearney is currently a consultant with a focus on policing and human rights.

David Lavery is currently Chief Executive of the Law Society of Northern Ireland and former Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service.

Maura Muldoon is retired but previously had a public sector career focused on mainstreaming human rights and equality into organisational policies, procedures and practices.

Edmond Rooney is currently a business associate with the Health and Social Care Leadership Centre and has previously served as a Northern Ireland Human Rights Commissioner.

Stephen White is currently a self-employed, freelance Security Sector Reform Specialist.

Political Activity

All appointments are made on merit and with regards to the statutory requirements. Political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity in defined categories to be made public.

Helen Henderson has declared that she canvassed on behalf of the Alliance Party and People before Profit.


These appointments are regulated by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointment (OCPA) and all stages of the process were overseen by an independent panel member.

Read the original advice at Foreign Travel Advice (UK)

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