Chief Justice Frank Clarke has nominated High Court judge Mr Justice Michael White as the inaugural chair of the Parole Board.
The establishment of the statutory body had been identified as a priority in the Justice Plan 2021, published earlier this week by Minister for Justice Helen McEntee (pictured), and it is set to begin operating by July.
12-15 board members
She has welcomed the nomination of Mr Justice White, saying he would bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the new Parole Board.
He will now guide the drafting of the relevant role specifications for other members.
Under section 10 of the Parole Act 2019, the board will comprise between 12 and 15 members, nominated by specified nominating bodies and specified post-holders.
“In making these subsequent appointments, I will take stakeholder perspectives into consideration to the greatest extent possible, bearing in mind the requirement for fair procedures and the need for a range of appropriate expertise in order for the board to formulate its decisions in a consistent, accountable and robust manner,” Minister McEntee said.
The Department of Justice has started initial, preparatory work with Mr Justice White, while the minister has written to the other nominating bodies specified in the act and has requested their responses in the coming weeks.
The board's main function is to advise the Minister for Justice on the administration of long-term prison sentences. Up to now, it has operated on a non-statutory basis.