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Ex-rights chief appointed to Policing Board

Deborah Watters of NI Alternatives has been reappointed as an independent to Policing Board

FORMER head of the Human Rights Commission Brice Dickson was appointed yesterday to the Policing Board as one of nine independent members announced by Justice minister David Ford.

Mr Dickson who served as chief commissioner until 2005 is now a law professor at Queen's University Belfast. He is one of nine independent members nominated to the Board.

Reappointees include GAA official Ryan Feeney who is the current head of public affairs for Ulster GAA.

The organisation's chairwoman Anne Connolly, who is a former teacher was also reappointed as was Deborah Watters who is deputy director and one of the founding members of the loyalist NI Alternatives restorative justice project.

The board, that holds the chief constable to account, also includes 10 political representatives from the main parties appointed by the assembly.

Other independent members include Dr Paul Nolan, a researcher who produced three Northern Ireland Peace Monitoring reports for the Community Relations Council. He was also lead researcher on a study of the loyalist flag protest and Wendy Osborne OBE, chief executive officer for Volunteer Now,

All nine will serve for the next four years, independent members are paid £15,000 a year for a minimum of four days per month.

The justice minister said the appointments were for either three or four years. "This "rolling approach" to appointments is intended to ensure continuity on the Board while bringing in new faces on a more regular basis.

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