News story

Secretary of State appoints new Sentence Review Commissioners

Rt. Hon Theresa Villiers MP today announced three new appointments to the Sentence Review Commissioners.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Dr Micaela Greenwood, Anne Grimes and Timothy Thorne have been appointed as Commissioners. The appointments will take effect on 1 April 2015.

Ms Villiers said:

The Sentence Review Commissioners have an important and challenging role. I am confident that the appointment of these additional Commissioners will ensure resilience and that the new Commissioners will bring experience and perspective to the ongoing work.

The Sentence Review Commissioners were created by the Northern Ireland Act 1998, as part of the Belfast Agreement. The Sentence Review Commissioners operate independently of Government and are sponsored by the Northern Ireland Office.

The Sentence Review Commissioners’ primary job is the consideration of applications for accelerated release within the terms of the Act. Following the suspension of a licence by the Secretary of State within the terms of the relevant legislation, the Commissioners are also responsible for considering whether to revoke or confirm the licence.

Detailed information on the statutory duties of the Sentence Review Commissioners may be found in the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998 (the ‘1998 Act’) and the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998 (Sentence Review Commissioners) Rules 1998.

Under the terms of the Act, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is responsible for making appointments to the Sentence Review Commissioners. The appointments are made in accordance with Section 1 of the Act.

Biography of Appointees

Micaela Greenwood is an independent Occupational Psychologist and management consultant who has worked with a wide range of clients including: the Irish Prison Service; The Irish Probation Service; the Irish Public Appointments Service; Greater Manchester Police, PSNI; The Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission; RTE, Zurich Insurance PLC; and a number of banking institutions. She currently holds an appointment as a Parole Commissioner.

Anne Grimes is a solicitor with over 25 years’ experience of specialising in housing and immigration law. She currently holders fee paid appointments as a Deputy Judge of the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) and First-Tier Judge (Immigration and Asylum Chamber). She is also a legal member of the Northern Ireland Valuation Tribunal and a Parole Commissioner.

Timothy Thorne is a Barrister specialising in criminal defence and prosecution advocacy. He also is a non-executive director of the Legal Experience Training Company, elected member of the Executive Committee of Immigration Judges, trainer in Legal English for National Institute of Magistracy, Bucharest and Vice President of the Council of Immigration Judges. He currently holds appointments as a fee paid Traffic Adjudicator for London, Deputy Assistant Judge Advocate sitting in Courts Marital and as a Parole Commissioner.

Terms of Appointment

The positions are part-time appointments.

Remuneration on appointment is £359 per day.

The appointments will be from 1 April 2015 for a period of five years.

Political Activity

All appointments are made on merit and with regards to the statutory requirements. Political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity in defined categories to be made public. No political activity has been declared by any of the three appointees.

Statutory Requirements

These appointments are made by the Secretary of State with regard to the equality provisions set out in section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and Section 1(3) to the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998.

Published 6 March 2015