Lay Members appointed to the NI Judicial Appointments Commission

Date published: 18 October 2016

The First Minister, the Rt. Hon. Arlene Foster, MLA, and the deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness have appointed Ms Marion Matchett and Mr Paul Douglas as Lay Members to the NI Judicial Appointments Commission.


The appointments are for a four year term from 18 October 2016 to 17 October 2020.

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:-
    1. five Judicial Members;
    2. two Legal Profession Members (a barrister nominated by the General Council of the Bar and a solicitor nominated by the Law Society); and
    3. 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. Ms Matchett has been involved in education and training at a number of levels throughout her working life. As a former teacher, adviser, lecturer and inspector Ms Matchett’s professional experience extends across the education and training sectors. She was Chief Inspector of the Education and Training Inspectorate until her retirement in 2008 and was a member of the Chief Inspector’s Forum (UK) and the Standing International Conference of Inspectorates. She previously was a Civil Service Commissioner and an independent member of the Cabinet Office Education Honours Committee.
  5. Ms Matchett is currently a member of the Senate of Queen’s University. No fees are payable in respect of that position.
  6. Mr Douglas had 15 years experience as a senior manager within the Police Service of Northern Ireland before his retirement. He developed strategies to reduce crime and help build safer communities. He was previously Vice Chair of the NW Community Safety Partnership; a partner in the Western Investment for Health Forum; a Council Lay member for the Pharmaceutical Society for Northern Ireland and a non-executive Director for the Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland.
  7. Mr Douglas is currently an Independent Assessor for the Commissioner for Public Appointments (NI) and a daily fee of £250 is payable. He is also a non-executive Director of the NI Audit Office Advisory Group and receives remuneration of £5,000 per annum for this role.
  8. Both Ms Matchett and Mr Douglas will bring considerable senior management experience to the Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission.
  9. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, the Commissioner for Public Appointments requires the political activity of appointees to be published. Ms Matchett and Mr Douglas have not been engaged in any political activity in the last five years.
  10. Remuneration will be made in accordance with the Commission’s fees schedule attracting a daily rate of £294.
  11. Media enquiries to The Executive Office press office on 028 9037 8256. Out of office hours, please contact the duty press office via pager number 07623 974 383 and your call will be returned.
  12. Follow us on Twitter @niexecutive.

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