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Deputy Surveillance Commissioner is appointed 15 November 2007

HUMAN rights lawyer, advocate Paul Beckett, has been appointed Deputy Surveillance Commissioner by the Department of Home Affairs.

Home Affairs Minister Martyn Quayle MHK commented:

‘The Department is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Beckett to assist Surveillance Commissioner Brendan O’Friel. I hope that members of the public will be reassured to see that we have such highly experienced and qualified professionals to fulfil this vital role overseeing the regulation of surveillance on the Isle of Man.’

Paul BeckettMr Beckett, 51, of Mannin Chambers, will assist Mr O’Friel in providing an effective and efficient oversight of the conduct of covert surveillance and directed surveillance by public authorities, in accordance with the Regulation of Surveillance Etc. Act 2006. His appointment is initially for a three-year term.

Mr Beckett commented:

‘People wonder why I would put myself forward for this kind of work and it’s simply because I believe in putting something back into the community. I have previously served as chairman of the Data Protection Appeals Tribunal and as deputy chairman of the Interception of Communications Tribunal. I am currently a member of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal. There is a keen awareness of the ethics of social responsibility at Mannin Chambers.’

A non-practising Irish and Northern Ireland solicitor, Mr Beckett was admitted to the Manx Bar in 1990. Originally from Stoke-on-Trent, he received a first class honours degree in Jurisprudence from Worcester College, Oxford, in 1978, and has been a solicitor in England and Wales since 1981. He is a regular contributor to professional journals and legal publications. He was honorary representative of the Isle of Man Government in Switzerland from 1992 to 1994. He sits on the Council of the Isle of Man Law Society, having originally been appointed in 2001.

His voluntary work includes teaching human rights in the Isle of Man Prison in conjunction with the IoM College. With his wife – bio chemist Dr Lesley Stone who works as a scientific translator – Mr Beckett regularly records the news service for Manx Blind Welfare.

His current area of legal practice involves international corporate and trust law, although he is now increasingly also known for specialising in human rights law.

Mr Beckett and Dr Stone moved to the Island 20 years ago and have two children, Christopher, 21, and Caroline, 18, both educated at the Buchan School and King William’s College and both now studying at Durham University.

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