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15 November 2019

Historical Institutional Abuse Redress Board President

15 November 2019




Summary of Judgment


The Lord Chief Justice today announced that he will appoint Mr Justice Colton as President of the Historical Institutional Abuse Redress Board.   


The Historical Institutional Abuse Redress Board will be responsible for receiving and processing applications for, and ordering payments of, compensation to victims and survivors of historical institutional abuse. 


In a statement, Mr Justice Colton said: 


“I am honoured to be asked by the Lord Chief Justice to be the President of the Historical Institutional Abuse Redress Board to implement recommendations made by my esteemed friend and colleague Sir Anthony Hart.  I have been advised by the Head of the Civil Service, David Sterling, that the Executive Office is committed to taking the necessary steps including the appointment of the non-judicial members of the Board and the establishment of administrative arrangements for the compensation scheme so that I may start this very important work.  The many victims of historical institutional abuse in Northern Ireland deserve redress and I will do everything I can to ensure they receive compensation as quickly as possible.”    





The Board is established by the Historical Institutional Abuse (Northern Ireland) Act 2019 (“the Act”).    The commencement of the Act and the date of the establishment of the Board will be announced by the Executive Office.   Mr Justice Colton’s appointment will take effect from that date.


Schedule 1 to the Act provides for the Lord Chief Justice to appoint a person as the President of the Board.  He is also to appoint judicial members who must either hold or have held office as a judge of the Court of Judicature of Northern Ireland or as a judge or deputy judge of the county court of Northern Ireland.  The Executive Office is to appoint persons to serve as other members of the Board.  The other members must have professional qualifications or experience in the field of health or social care which the Executive Office considers relevant.


An application for compensation will be determined by a panel appointed by the President which will consist of one judicial member, who is the chair of the panel, and two other members.  The procedure for determining applications is set out in the Act.  Applications must be made within five years of the establishment of the Board.


The Executive Office has indicated to victims’ and survivors’ groups that, before Christmas, it will give a timeline for the remaining stages of implementation.  The Executive Office can be contacted for more details:  Libby Kinney (, 028 9037 8207 or 07736 4811139)



The Executive Office can be contacted




If you have any further enquiries about this or other court related matters please contact:


Alison Houston

Judicial Communications Officer

Lord Chief Justice’s Office

Royal Courts of Justice

Chichester Street




Telephone:  028 9072 5921










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