Alyson hopes to talk about the correlation between human rights oversight, accountability and police legitimacy but with an emphasis on the practical and operational issues. She hopes to share the insight she gained from being 'up close' to police and navigating contentious cultural and operational challenges. Her talk will cover oversight of national security and covert operations and the specific hurdles to be overcome.
Alyson Kilpatrick was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1992. In 2008, she returned to the Bar of Northern Ireland. Alyson has extensive experience of litigation in the higher courts in a range of public law and human rights cases with a particular emphasis on cases concerning the protection of individuals’ rights. Throughout her practice, Alyson has published extensively including legal textbooks, law reports’ series and encyclopedia of law and practice – she was a contributing author to The Human Rights Act 1998: A Practitioner’s Guide and the author of Discrimination Law and Housing Law in Northern Ireland.
In 2009, Alyson was a member of the Irish Government’s delegation to Timor Leste on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 where she spoke on policing oversight and provided recommendations for a revised code of conduct for UN military personnel overseas. Alyson was a Commissioner on the Independent Commission on the Future of Housing in Northern Ireland. Until November 2017 she was Chair of the Board of the Simon Community Northern Ireland, is Chair of the Gender Identity Panel NI, a member of the board of the One Safe Place Justice Centre, a member of the Board of Community Restorative Justice Ireland and Vice Chair of the Board of the Northern Ireland Co-Ownership Housing Association. Between 2009 and September 2017, Alyson was the Independent Human Rights Legal Advisor to the Northern Ireland Policing Board. During that time, she published annual human rights reports and thematic review reports on, for example: domestic violence; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights; race hate crime; stop and search; child sexual exploitation and; policing with children and young people. In 2016, she was appointed special legal advisor to the UK’s Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation and continues in that role. She is currently undertaking, instructed by the Officer in Overall Command, an independent review of the ECHR compliance of a number of highly sensitive NI 'legacy' investigations.