Paul Frew DUP MLA for North Antrim has been appointed by First Minister Arlene Foster to chair the very important Justice Committee .
This will be seen by many as one of the most significant posts outside of the executive given the fact there is a new Justice Minister in independent MLA Claire Sugden from East Londonderry. This development came about through negotiations leading up to the running of De Hondt , the method by which the NI Assembly selects its Ministers to form an Executive. It would have been no coincidence that The First Minister selected Paul Frew as Chairman at her first opportunity in selecting Chairpersons given the importance of the role and the new executive setup.
Others will see this as fitting reward for Paul Frew Who not only topped the poll in an election for the fourth time in a row , maintaining his 100% record but who as made a massive impact on the Justice Committee in the few years he had served on it .
Frew made significant changes to legislation his greatest success being the introduction of the Child Protection Disclosure Scheme where by parents or guardians can apply in a police station for information on someone’s past convictions if they are acting suspiciously around their child . This is very similar to Sarah’s Law in England & Wales .
The MLA has also brought in tougher sentencing for assaulting ambulance workers and helped reform Gun legislation and regulations to make it more streamlined.
Speaking shortly after receiving the post Paul Frew Stated ” I look forward to the role and the part i will play in shaping the Justice system in Northern Ireland . My job ofcourse is to scrutinise the Minister of Justice and Department and i will do that to the best of my ability but the Committee is also there to assist and advise the Minister and Department . I will do that also in equal measure. “