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Rep. Christopher H. Smith, Chairman
Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Co-Chairman
For Immediate Release
March 12, 2004


(Washington) - The United States Helsinki Commission will hold a hearing on Northern Ireland’s Human Rights and Police Reform. 

Policing Reforms and Human Rights in Northern Ireland

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

2172 Rayburn House Office Building



Dr. Mitchell Reiss, Director of Policy Planning Staff at the U.S. Department of State

Nuala O'Loan, Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland

Jane Winter, Director, British Irish Rights Watch

Paul Mageean, Legal Officer, Committee on the Administration of Justice

Brendan McAllister, Director of Mediation Northern Ireland

Elisa Massimino, Director of the Washington, D.C. Office, Human Rights First


As a follow-up to Helsinki Commission hearings on the peace process in Northern Ireland held in 2000, this hearing will focus specifically on the status of policing reforms.  U.S. policy regarding this aspect of the peace process will be reviewed.  U.S. policy regarding this aspect of the peace process will be reviewed.


The hearing will also examine the work of institutions tasked with monitoring and encouraging progress in the peace process through police reform, including the investigation of complaints against the police and holding police officers accountable for human rights violations and other improper conduct. The impact of progress to date on the communities in Northern Ireland will also be assessed.

    An un-official transcript will be available on the Helsinki Commission's web site at within 24 hours of the hearing.

    The United States Helsinki Commission, an independent federal agency, by law monitors and encourages progress in implementing provisions of the Helsinki Accords. The Commission, created in 1976, is composed of nine Senators, nine Representatives and one official each from the Departments of State, Defense and Commerce.


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    Chairman Chris Smith and Co-Chairman Roger Wicker at the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Annual Session in Baku, Azerbaijan. (June 2014)