Press release

Villiers announces names of independent reviewers

Secretary of State appoints three independent reviewers for assessment of paramilitary organisations in Northern Ireland


Three independent reviewers of a forthcoming factual assessment from the UK security agencies and the PSNI on the structure, role and purpose of paramilitary organisations in Northern Ireland were appointed today by Secretary of State Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP:

  • Lord Carlile of Berriew CBE QC
  • Rosalie Flanagan; and
  • Stephen Shaw QC

Collectively, they have an in-depth knowledge of security issues, legal expertise, an understanding of Northern Ireland politics and political structures, as well as credibility and standing from across the community.

The appointments follow the announcement by the Secretary of State on Friday 18 September that the government has commissioned a factual assessment from the UK security agencies and the PSNI on the structure, role and purpose of paramilitary organisations in Northern Ireland.

The assessment will be published by mid-October after it has been independently reviewed by Lord Carlile, Ms Flanagan and Mr Shaw and will be available to inform the Northern Ireland parties’ discussions and conclusions in the cross party talks currently underway.

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP said:

I am very grateful to each of the reviewers for agreeing to take on this important work. They are all highly respected individuals. I am confident that they will bring rigour, integrity and independence to this important task.

Lord Carlile of Berriew

Lord Carlile of Berriew, CBE, QC, is a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords. He is a practising barrister and former head of chambers of 9–12 Bell Yard barristers’ chambers. He was the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation from 2001 – 2011 and has been the independent reviewer of national security arrangements in Northern Ireland since 2007. He was the Liberal Democrat MP for Montgomeryshire from 1983-97.

Rosalie Flanagan

Rosalie Flanagan is a former Permanent Secretary at the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure. She had previously been Director of Executive Services in the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister, a position Ms Flanagan held from 2002 until 2010. She has also worked at the Department of Finance and Personnel.

Stephen Shaw QC

Stephen Shaw QC has been a Senior Counsel in Northern Ireland since December 2001. He was called to the Northern Ireland Bar in 1980. He has concentrated on commercial, chancery and public law work, embracing strategic advice as well as litigation, arbitration and mediation. He has acted for banks, public companies (plc) and private business, as well as local and central government.

Published 22 September 2015