Parades ruling means Government must now stop abusing appointments process

Alliance Party Leader David Ford has said today’s ruling by Mr Justice Morgan that two appointments to the Parades Commission were unlawful must herald an immediate end to the politicisation of the appointments process.

David Ford stated: “Today’s ruling illustrates the simple fact that people are being appointed to important Boards, tasked with ensuring law and order in Northern Ireland, on the basis of past baggage rather than demonstrable capability. This is a very dangerous state of affairs which threatens any prospect of stability in our country. It must now cease immediately.

“Alliance has long recorded its view to Government that appointment by quota or appointment on the basis of membership of specific organizations simply cannot go on. We did so most recently with regard to the Policing Board. It is wrong when it is done to favour one ‘side’, and it is wrong when it is done merely to balance ‘both’ sides – such appointments must be done on merit and on demonstrable ability to understand the task.

“The Parades Commission has an essential and important job which the Government has put at risk by appointing two people clearly unable on the basis of evidence presented to command reasonable support either among those affected by its rulings, or among those who review those rulings.”

“The Government must realise that appointment on the basis of capability, on merit, is a cornerstone of any stable liberal democracy. They must stop abusing appointments in this way immediately, or the long-term ramifications could be very grave indeed.”


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