Following its initial establishment, the Lord Chief Justice considered the appointment of lay members to the Sentencing Group would enhance the Group’s ability to perform its functions. To that end, in 2013, the Lord Chief Justice, in consultation with the Department of Justice, ran two open public competitions to appoint two lay members to the group: one lay member was required to have academic experience in criminal law, criminal procedure or sentencing within the Northern Ireland criminal justice system; the second lay member was required to have a knowledge and understanding of issues facing victims of crime.
In June 2013 the Lord Chief Justice was very pleased to appoint Professor Sally Wheeler of Queen’s University, Belfast as the first lay member on the Group. In June 2016 Ms Geraldine Hanna, Chief Executive, Victim Support NI, given her knowledge and understanding of the issues facing victims and witnesses of crime, accepted an invitation from the Lord Chief Justice to join the Group as the second Lay Member.
Members of the Lady Chief Justice's Sentencing Group
- Lord Justice McCloskey (Chairman)
- Mr Justice O'Hara, Senior Crown Court Judge
- Her Honour Judge Smyth, Recorder of Belfast
- Presiding District Judge (Magistrates' Courts) McGarrity
- District Judge (Magistrates' Courts) Conner
- Geraldine Hanna, Victim Support NI (Lay Member)
- Joanne Clough, Clinic Manager, Ulster University Law Clinic (Academic Member)
- Dr Kevin J. Brown, School of Law, QUB (Academic Member)
- Terence Dunlop, Secretary