Northern Ireland news

Policing Board to appoint human rights adviser

Policing Board members Dolores Kelly has welcomed a decision by the Policing Board to appoint a new human rights adviser
Connla Young

THE newly constituted Policing Board has agreed to appoint a human rights advisor to the vacant post.

The key role has been vacant since September 2017 when the board claimed it did not have the authority to offer the previous incumbent a new contract because it was not fully constituted.

No political members were nominated to the 19-strong board after the March 2017 assembly elections due to the collapse of Stormont earlier that year.

The human rights adviser is expected to provide expert legal opinion to the board and help produce an annual human rights report.

The Policing Board has a responsibility to monitor the performance of the PSNI in complying with the Human Rights Act.

Human rights oversight is viewed as one of the most important functions of the board.

News that a recruitment process is to be carried out comes days after it emerged that the PSNI failed to release "significant" information to the Police Ombudsman.

A reconstituted board met for the first time in almost two years last month.

SDLP board member Dolores Kelly, who had raised the issue with the Irish government, said she is "pleased... they are proceeding with it as one of the priorities".

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