Selection process launched for Independent Domestic Homicide Review Chairs

Date published: 09 January 2020

The Department of Justice is seeking to recruit a panel of three independent chair members for the introduction of Domestic Homicide Reviews in Northern Ireland.

The purpose of a DHR is to establish what lessons, if any, are to be learned regarding the way in which local professionals and organisations worked individually and together to safeguard the victim.  It will also consider any contact or work with the alleged perpetrator/perpetrator.

The Department is seeking to establish a pool of three individuals who have the qualities and experience needed, coupled with a strong commitment to improving practice, to independently Chair and undertake DHRs locally, with the assistance of a multi-agency panel.  Each Review will be allocated to an Independent Chair, based on capacity. 

Peter May, Permanent Secretary, Department of Justice said: “Since 2010 on average five people are killed every year in Northern Ireland by a current or former partner or close family member.  Each homicide is a tragedy and it is essential that we do all that we can to learn lessons, ultimately with a view to preventing domestic violence and abuse and domestic homicide happening in the future.

“To that end the Department of Justice intends to introduce Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs) in Northern Ireland, which will seek opportunities for learning from cases of homicide resulting from domestic violence and abuse.  Independent Chairs will be responsible for leading Reviews and I would encourage anyone who feels that they have the required skills to consider applying for this appointment.”

Those who are invited to sit on a panel of Independent Chairs will be asked to do so for an initial period of three years.  However, this could be extended by the Department, subject to evidence of effective working and continued adherence to values and guidance.  Further suitably skilled and experienced individuals may be invited to sit on the panel, should that be required. 

Further information and the candidate information booklet and application form can be accessed at Justice-ni/publications

Independent Chairs will work for the Department of Justice on a self-employed basis (even though they may be employed in another role).   Details on remuneration and time commitment are set out in the candidate information booklet.

The establishment of a pool of independent chairs is a key stage in the introduction of a Domestic Homicide Review (DHR) model to Northern Ireland.   This is a key initiative to be delivered under the Stopping Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse Strategy and was a commitment of the previous Justice Minister.

Application forms must be submitted to VAP@justice-ni.x.gsi.gov.uk by 5.00pm on 31 January 2020.

Notes to editors: 

1.  If you have any questions about the application process or the role, contact Community Safety Branch on 028 90 526112 or email VAP@justice-ni.x.gsi.gov.uk

2.  The Department of Justice publicly consulted on a proposed model for the introduction of Domestic Homicide Reviews in Northern Ireland, from 4 July 2018 to 28 September 2018.  The consultation and summary of responses document is available at: Justice-ni/publications.

3.  All media enquiries should be directed to the Department of Justice Press Office, 028 9052 6444. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 028 9037 8110 and your call will be returned.

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