Written Answers. - Departmental Appointments.

Frances Fitzgerald

Question:

929 Ms Fitzgerald asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the procedures for appointment to the Human Rights Commission; the number of applicants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20417/00]

Section 5 of the Human Rights Commission Act, 2000, governs the position regarding appointments to the Human Rights Commission and provides that all nine members, including the president of the commission, are to be appointed by the Government. The Government has already appointed Mr. Justice Donal Barrington, the former Judge of the Supreme Court and the European Court of First Instance, to be president of the commission.

In so far as the ordinary members of the commission are concerned, a selection committee has been established under the Chairmanship of Dr. T.K. Whitaker to draw up a list of possible candidates, who will be considered by the Government for appointment. The other members of the committee are Ms Inez McCormack, President of ICTU and member of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission; Mr. Frank Murray, former Secretary General to the Government and now a member of the Civil Service and Local Appointments Commission; Ms Mary Murphy, nominated by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul; and Mr. Martin O'Brien Director of the Committee on the Administration of Justice in Northern Ireland.

Advertisements were placed in the national newspapers over the period 31 August to 3 September 2000 and the selection committee has begun its task of considering the 177 applications received.