Appointment of Mr Justice Mark Horner to the NI Judicial Appointments Commission (NIJAC)

Date published: 08 September 2021

The First Minister Paul Givan MLA and the deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill MLA have today appointed The Honourable Mr Justice Mark Horner to the NI Judicial Appointments Commission (NIJAC).  Mr Justice Horner replaces Mrs Justice Keegan as the High Court Judge Commissioner in NIJAC.


The appointment is for a 5 year term from 8 September 2021 to 7 August 2026.

Notes to editors: 

1. The Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission (NIJAC) was established on 15 June 2005 under the Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2002 as amended by the Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2004.  On the devolution of policing and justice powers in April 2010 the remit of the Commission was further expanded and NIJAC is currently responsible for selecting and appointing, or recommending for appointment, applicants in respect of all listed judicial offices up to and including High Court Judge.

2. The Commission comprises a Chairman who is the Lord Chief Justice and 12 other members:-

  • five Judicial Members (nominated by the Lord Chief Justice);
  • two Legal Profession Members (a barrister nominated by the General Council of the Bar and a solicitor nominated by the Law Society); and
  • five Lay Members (Recruited by an open competition regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments NI.)

3. The Executive Office holds sponsorship responsibility for the Commission and the 2002 Act provides for the First Minister and deputy First Minister to appoint Commissioners.

4. The Honourable Mr Justice Mark Horner was called to the Bar in 1979 and was appointed a Q.C. in 1996. At the Bar he had a wide and varied practice with a particular interest in commercial disputes, Chancery and professional negligence cases and personal injury litigation.  His areas of special interest include practice and procedure in this and other jurisdictions, commercial litigation and public law. He is the judge in charge of the Commercial Hub for Northern Ireland having served as the Chancery Judge for some years. He has sat as a Coroner in a number of legacy cases. He is the President of the Lands Tribunal. He is currently looking at the potential of sport to rehabilitate young offenders.  He is a member of the Civil Justice Review, chairman of Northern Ireland sub-committee of European Network of Councils for the Judiciary (ENCJ) looking into minimum standards for judges across Europe and Chairman of the Judges’ Council. He is currently leading a working group which is examining the prospects of the digitalisation of the present court processes

5. Judicial members with the exception of the lay magistrate are not remunerated for their appointment.

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