Commissioners

The Lord Chancellor has appointed (or reappointed) the following thirteen individuals (profiles below) as Commissioners.

The judicial members have been re-appointed for a period of 5 years, the lay members have been re-appointed for 4 years and the legal members for a period of 3 years.

The Honourable Sir Declan Morgan, Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland
Mrs Sinéad Burns, Lay Magistrate
The Right Honourable Lord Justice Coghlin
Mr Peter Cush
Mr Donal Flanagan OBE
Mr John G Gordon
District Judge (Magistrates' Court) Amanda Henderson
Mrs Ruth Laird
Her Honour Judge Loughran, County Court Judge
Professor John Morison
Dr Raymond Mullan OBE
Dr Nichola Rooney
The Honourable Mr Justice Weatherup, High Court Judge

 

The Honourable Sir Declan Morgan
Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland

Career / Experience:
Sir Declan Morgan was educated at Peterhouse, Cambridge. He was called to the Bar in 1976 and took Silk in 1993.

He was Senior Crown Counsel for Northern Ireland from 2002 until his appointment as a High Court Judge in May 2004. He was appointed to the Family Division in January 2007 and in September 2008 became one of two judges with responsibility for judicial review. Sir Declan was appointed Chairman of the Law Reform Advisory Committee for Northern Ireland in 2004. In April 2007 he was appointed Chairman of the Northern Ireland Law Commission. He will be stepping down from that position at the end of the summer.

Sir Declan Morgan became Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland on Friday 3 July 2009.

Period of Appointment and Remuneration:
The Justice (NI) Act 2002 states that the Lord Chief Justice is to be the Chairman of the Commission. With the exception of the lay magistrate, judicial members will not receive a fee.

Other Public Appointments Held and Remunerations Received:
None.

Political Activity:
None.

Mrs Sinéad Burns
Lay Magistrate

Career / Experience:
Mrs Burns was appointed as a lay magistrate on 1 April 2005.

She is an Occupational Psychologist and is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Personnel and Development. She holds a BA (Hons) Degree in Psychology, an MSc in Occupational Psychology, an MA in Human Resource Management and a PGCE. Mrs Burns has 12 years experience in human resource management in both the public and private sectors and is Assistant Director of Human Resources for Craigavon and Banbridge Community Health and Social Services Trust.

Period of Appointment and Remuneration:
Took up appointment in June 2005 for an initial 3 year period and has been reappointed for a further period of 5 years. The lay magistrate member will receive a daily rate of £294. A half-day fee of £147 is payable for 4 hours or less.  An hourly rate is payable for Commission activities other than attendance at scheduled meetings and attendance at training, conferences, outreach and diversity events.

Other Public Appointments Held and Remunerations Received:
None.

Political Activity:
None.

 

The Right Honourable Lord Justice Coghlin
Lord Justice of Appeal

Career / Experience:                                                              
Sir Patrick Coghlin was educated at Queen’s University, Belfast and Cambridge University. He was appointed as a High Court Judge in 1997 having been called to the Bar in 1970 and taken silk in 1985. Sir Patrick was Chairman of the General Council of the Bar from 1991- 1993 and was Senior Crown Counsel from 1993-1997.  

He was appointed as a Lord Justice of Appeal in September 2008.

Sir Patrick is currently President of the Lands Tribunal and Chairman of a group of Tribunal Chairmen and Presidents which is considering issues concerning Tribunal reform in Northern Ireland.

Period of Appointment and Remuneration:
The Right Honourable Lord Justice Coghlin's appointment was in October 2008 and will last for a period of 5 years.

Other Public Appointments Held and Remunerations Received:
None.

Political Activity:
None.

Mr Peter Cush

Career / Experience:
Mr Cush is a barrister who practices in the following areas: Administrative and Law, Banking and Insurance, Civil Liberties & Human Rights, Civil Litigation, Common Law, Company Law, Competition Law, Contract, Defamation, Employer's Liability, Environment, European Law, General Commercial, Health & Safety, Injunctions, Personal Injuries, Planning, Product Liability, Professional & Medical Negligence and Tort. 

He was the representative of the Bar to the Consultative Committees of the Bars and Law Societies of the European Community 1982 - 1993, the Vice-Chairman of The Bar Council 2002 - 2003 and is currently the Chairman of The Bar Council (2003 - 2006). 

He is also a member of the Bar of England Wales (1974), Bar of Ireland (1974) and the Bar of New South Wales (1990).

Period of Appointment and Remuneration:
Took up appointment in June 2005 for an initial 3 year period and has been reappointed for a further period of 3 years. A daily rate of £294 and a half-day fee of £147 (4 hours or less) are payable.  An hourly rate is payable for Commission activities other than attendance at scheduled meetings and attendance at training, conferences, outreach and diversity events.  

Other Public Appointments Held and Remunerations Received:
None.

Political Activity:
None.

 

Mr Donal Flanagan OBE

Career / Experience:
Mr Donal Flanagan OBE is currently Chief Executive of the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools and is a Board Member of the Regional Training Unit, the Teachers’ Salaries Negotiating Committee (both Department of Education) and an independent Board Member of the Department of Agriculture.  

He is also a Non Executive Director with the South Eastern Trust (Department of Health) and the Middletown Centre for Autism (Department of Education). Previously held posts have included Chair of Crossgar Community Association, a Non Executive Director of Down and Lisburn Health & Social Services Trust and positions on the Boards of the Council for the Curriculum Examinations & Assessment, the Belfast Health Action Zone Council and the Northern Ireland Business Education Partnership.  

Period of Appointment and Remuneration:
Mr Flanagan took up his 5 year appointment on 15 June 2008 and succeeded Mr Harry McConnell OBE whose term as a lay member ended on 14 June 2008. A daily rate of £294 and a half-day fee of £147 (4 hours or less) are payable.  An hourly rate is payable for Commission activities other than attendance at scheduled meetings and attendance at training, conferences, outreach and diversity events.

Other Public Appointments Held and Remunerations Received:
None.

Political Activity:
None.

Mr John G Gordon

Career / Experience:
Mr Gordon has over 25 years experience in private practice as a solicitor and is the senior and managing partner in a medium-sized and progressive firm of solicitors based in Belfast. He is a specialist insolvency lawyer (a Licensed Insolvency Practitioner) and employment lawyer who practices regularly before the Fair Employment and Industrial Tribunal. 

He also serves as a primary adviser to the Northern Ireland Maintained Schools Sector on all aspects of equality legislation, is a Director of the Solicitors Benevolent Association, is a Board Member of Servicing the Legal System Limited, has experience of sitting on the Board of Governors of a large second-level school in Belfast, has served on the Law Society Equality Working Party and has served as a member of the Council of the Law Society of Northern Ireland for over 20 years. He has been the Treasurer of the Law Society (NI) since 1997.

Period of Appointment and Remuneration:
Took up appointment in June 2005 for an initial 3 year period and has been reappointed for a further period of 3 years. A daily rate of £294 and a half-day fee of £147 (4 hours or less) are payable.  An hourly rate is payable for Commission activities other than attendance at scheduled meetings and attendance at training, conferences, outreach and diversity events.    

Other Public Appointments Held and Remunerations Received:
Member of the Lord Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Insolvency - no remuneration received.

Political Activity:
None.

District Judge (Magistrates' Court) Amanda Henderson

Career/Experience:

Judge Henderson was educated at Queen's University, Belfast.  She was called to the Bar in 1984 and was called to the Bar of Ireland in 1996.  She was appointed as a deputy district judge (magistrates’ courts) (formerly known as deputy resident magistrate) in 2002 and was appointed as a district judge (magistrates’ courts) in 2005.

Period of Appointment and Remuneration:
Judge Henderson’s period of appointment will run from 2nd February 2009 to 14th June 2013. With the exception of the lay magistrate, judicial members will not receive a fee.   

Public and other Appointments Held and Remunerations Received:
No public or other appointments held currently.

Political Activity:
None.

Mrs Ruth Laird

Career / Experience:
Mrs Laird was educated at Queen's University Belfast and holds a BA (Hons) Degree in Ancient and Modern History, and a Diploma in Human Resource Management.

She has 25 years experience in human resource management and organisational development in the public, private and voluntary sectors and is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Personnel and Development. Mrs Laird was formerly Director of the National Trust for Northern Ireland, Head of Personnel at the BBC (NI), and a Fair Employment Commissioner.

She is a non-executive Director of the NI Transport Holding Company and the NI Prison Service, and a member of the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority for Health and Social Services. Mrs Laird was appointed as a Civil Service Commissioner for Northern Ireland from 1st June 2006 for a three year term and is a member of the Board of Business in the Community.

Period of Appointment and Remuneration:
Took up appointment in June 2005 for an initial 3 year period and has been reappointed for a further period of 4 years. A daily rate of £294 and a half-day fee of £147 (4 hours or less) are payable.  An hourly rate is payable for Commission activities other than attendance at scheduled meetings and attendance at training, conferences, outreach and diversity events.   

Other Public Appointments Held and Remunerations Received:
Member of the Board of Governors of Strathearn School, Belfast - No remuneration received.
Member of the Board of the Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company (DRD) - No remuneration received.

Non-Executive member of the Health and Personal Social Services Regulation and Improvement Authority - No remuneration received.

Mrs Laird is also a non-executive member of the NI Prison Service Management Board.
Civil Service Commissioner for Northern Ireland with effect from 1 June 2006 for a three year term.

Political Activity:
None.

Her Honour Judge Loughran
County Court Judge

Career / Experience:
Judge Gemma Loughran was educated at Queen's University Belfast. She was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 1989 and was appointed a county court judge on 6 September 2004. She is a former Director of the Eastern Health and Social Services Board and a former member of the Senate of Queen's University, Belfast.

She is a current member of the Board of Visitors of Queen's University, Belfast and a Director of Trócaire.

Period of Appointment and Remuneration:
Took up appointment in June 2005 for an initial 3 year period and has been reappointed for a further period of 5 years. With the exception of the lay magistrate, judicial members will not receive a fee.   

Other Public Appointments Held and Remunerations Received:
None.

Political Activity:
None.

 

Professor John Morison

Career / Experience:
Professor Morison is a Professor of Jurisprudence in the School of Law at Queen's University Belfast. Since completing his education in Cardiff University and joining Queen's in 1984, he has held various positions within the School of Law including Head of Research, Head of Department of Jurisprudence and from 2003-2007, Head of the School of Law.

He has been a visiting Professor in London and in Cape Town and this year he has been an occasional visiting Research Fellow in the University of Utrecht. He has written and edited several books and published widely in scholarly journals internationally as well as carrying out projects for the European Commission, Government, Research Councils and various Charities. 

He is a Member of the Peer Review College of the Arts and Humanities Research Council for the UK, the Board of Directors of the European Public Law Centre, Athens and of the Scientific Committee of the European Group of Public Law as well as a member of the Curatorium of the European Public Law Academy. He also serves as a trustee on the Hamlyn Trust and was previously a Member of The Task Force on Resourcing the Voluntary and Community sectors in Northern Ireland which reported at the end of 2004

Period of Appointment and Remuneration:
Took up appointment in June 2005 for an initial 3 year period and has been reappointed for a further period of 4 years. A daily rate of £294 and a half-day fee of £147 (4 hours or less) are payable.  An hourly rate is payable for Commission activities other than attendance at scheduled meetings and attendance at training, conferences, outreach and diversity events.   

Other Public Appointments Held and Remunerations Received:
None.

Political Activity:
None.

Dr Raymond Mullan OBE, Msc

Career / Experience:
Dr Raymond Mullan OBE was Director & Chief Executive of Newry & Kilkeel Institute of Further & Higher Education from 1991 until his retirement in 2007. 

Previous to this he held various posts in Further Education including Head of Business & Management Studies.  He is a graduate of Queens University Belfast in Economics and Accounting and holds a Masters degree in Education Management from the University of Ulster.

He received an OBE in 2000 for his contribution to education in N Ireland and was awarded a Doctor of the University of Ulster in 2006 in recognition of his distinction in promoting access to Further and Higher Education in N Ireland. 

During his career he  served as Chairman of the Association of Principals of N Ireland Colleges and was Chairman of the Association of N Ireland Colleges.  He is currently Chair of Greenshoots Newry Ltd, an incubation and innovation company established in conjunction with Newry Institute and the University of Ulster and is a life member of Newry Chamber of Commerce & Trade.

Period of Appointment and Remuneration:
Took up appointment in June 2005 for an initial 3 year period and has been reappointed for a further period of 4 years. A daily rate of £294 and a half-day fee of £147 (4 hours or less) are payable. An hourly rate is payable for Commission activities other than attendance at scheduled meetings and attendance at training, conferences, outreach and diversity events.   

Other Public Appointments Held and Remunerations Received:
Appointed as a non-executive Director to the new Southern Health and Social Services Trust. The appointment is for a four year period with effect from 1st April 2007 and the post attracts an annual remuneration of £7,500 per annum.

Political Activity:
None.

Dr Nichola Rooney

Career / Experience:       
Dr Rooney has been a Consultant Clinical Psychologist in the Health Service for 17 years and for the past 8 years she has worked as a senior manager at the Royal Hospitals Belfast. She is currently Head of Psychological Services for the Belfast Trust.  From 2002 - 2004 Dr Rooney was appointed by the Minister for Health as a member of the Human Organs Inquiry Relative's Reference Group. She has been involved in a number of Department of Health Committees for Policy Development, most recently in relation to the organisation and delivery of Psychological Therapies in Northern Ireland.

Dr Rooney is Chair of the Division of Clinical Psychology Northern Ireland and a member of the Executive of the Division of Clinical Psychology UK.

Her research in the area of Child Psychology has been disseminated through publication in academic journals and presentations at national and international conferences.

As an honorary senior lecturer at Queen's University Belfast Dr Rooney has lectured frequently on post-graduate medical and clinical psychology doctorate courses. She is a member of the Board of Studies for the Clinical Psychology Doctorate.

Period of Appointment and Remuneration:
Dr Rooney’s period of appointment will run from 2nd February 2009 to 14th June 2013. A daily rate of £294 and a half-day fee of £147 (4 hours or less) are payable.  An hourly rate is payable for Commission activities other than attendance at scheduled meetings and attendance at training, conferences, outreach and diversity events.   

Public and other Appointments Held and Remunerations Received:
Dr Rooney is a Governor of St. Dominic’s Grammar School. Belfast. (No remuneration is received for this).

Political Activity:
None

The Honourable Mr Justice Weatherup 
High Court Judge

Career / Experience:
Sir Ronald Weatherup was educated at Queen's University Belfast. He was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 1971 and took Silk in 1993. He served as Junior Crown Counsel for Northern Ireland from 1989 to 1993 and Senior Crown Counsel for Northern Ireland from 1997 to 2001.

He was appointed a High Court judge on 4 June 2001. 

Sir Ronald is a member of the Judicial Studies Board for Northern Ireland and is the Judge in Residence at Queen's University Belfast. He is also a Visitor to the University of Ulster.

Period of Appointment and Remuneration:
Took up appointment in June 2005 for an initial 3 year period and has been reappointed for a further period of 5 years. With the exception of the lay magistrate, judicial members will not receive a fee.   

Other Public Appointments Held and Remunerations Received:
None.

Political Activity:
None.