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Northern Ireland Assembly Commission Nominates New Assembly Commissioner for Standards

Session: Session currently unavailable

Date: 07 July 2020

Reference: AC02/19/20

The Northern Ireland Assembly Commission (the Commission) has nominated Mr Paul Kennedy for appointment as the new Assembly Commissioner for Standards.

The Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly and Chair of the Assembly Commission, Alex Maskey, MLA, said: “Following the return of the Assembly earlier this year, the Commission agreed that the appointment of a new Commissioner for Standards would be a priority. I can today confirm that the Commission has identified Paul Kennedy for appointment.

“The independent role of the Commissioner for Standards is central to ensuring that MLAs uphold high standards of conduct in public life. Mr Kennedy has been a qualified solicitor for more than 37 years and has extensive investigative experience in a wide variety of roles and across a number of sectors.  The Commission is confident that his experience leaves him well equipped to perform this crucial role.”

The Commission has today asked the Business Committee to schedule the motion for debate at the Assembly sitting on 21 July 2020, when MLAs will be given the opportunity to agree Mr Kennedy’s formal appointment. 

ENDS

Notes to Editor:

 

1. The Commission agreed that it would be appropriate to make the appointment from the recruitment competition conducted in 2017. 

2. The Commission has asked the Business Committee to schedule the motion for debate at the Assembly sitting on 21 July 2020.  If the Assembly gives its approval, the appointment will be effective immediately.

3. Pen portrait of Paul Kennedy

Paul has been a qualified solicitor for 37 years having been admitted to the Roll of Solicitors in 1983.  He was engaged in private practice for 32 years, 28 of which were as Principal in his own firm.  Initially, he worked in the field of Commercial Law with a firm in Belfast, but later moved into more general practice.  He has extensive investigative experience in a wide variety of roles and across a number of sectors and holds a Masters' Degree in Company Law.

Since retiring from general practice, Paul has taken on other roles, including membership of the Veterans Advisory and Pensions Committee for Northern Ireland. He has also qualified as an Assistant Technical Official with UK Athletics for the disciplines of Track & Field and Endurance Events.

In addition, Paul has carried out voluntary work with a local Homeless Charity and is involved as a Board Member with a local charitable company which operates a Child Contact Centre.

Paul is married with three grown up children and lives in County Down.

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