Glossary of Terms

A (9) | B (5) | C (16) | D (8) | E (3) | F (5) | G (1) | H (3) | I (3) | J (7) | L (7) | M (5) | N (5) | O (2) | P (7) | Q (2) | R (2) | S (8) | T (1) | V (1) | Y (2)

Parliamentary Questions

Parliamentary questions are tools that can be used by Members of Parliament to seek information or to press for action. They oblige Ministers to explain and defend the work, policy decisions and actions of their Departments.

MPs can ask the Government questions to be answered in person by a Minister (Oral Questions) or in writing (Written Questions).

Pensions Appeal Tribunals (PAT)

PAT deals with appeals against certain decisions the Service Personnel & Veterans Agency have made on war disability pensions. A PAT panel will normally consist of three members - a qualified lawyer, a qualified medical practitioner and a member who served in the armed forces.

Additional information can be found on the Northern Ireland Courts & Tribunals Service website.

Personal Profile

The Personal Profile reflects what is required to serve successfully in the judicial office under recruitment.

It is a key document for applicants to make reference to when completing their application and in thorough preparation for the selection process.

It is important because it sets out the criteria for appointment and is the basis against which applicants will be assessed throughout the short listing and assessment centre stages of the selection process.

Five key areas are included in the Personal Profile. These are:

  • Intellectual Capacity, Knowledge and Expertise
  • Personal Qualities
  • Understanding and Fairness
  • Communication Skills, and
  • Management Skills / Leadership and Management Skills

Planning Appeals Commission

The Planning Appeals Commission, often referred to as the PAC, is an independent appellate body established under statute to deal with a wide range of land use planning issues and related matters.

Additional information can be found on the Planning Appeals Commission website.

Plenary Committee

This refers to an internal meeting attended by all NIJAC Commissioners every three months.

Plenary has overall responsibility for the fulfilling of NIJAC’s statutory remit, values, objectives and major decisions made by NIJAC. It is empowered to delegate areas of work to sub committees who report back on their progress.

Minutes of Plenary meetings can be viewed via the Publications page.


The beginning or conduct of criminal proceedings against a person.

Public Prosecution Service of Northern Ireland

The Public Prosecution Service of Northern Ireland (PPS) decides whether or not to prosecute people for committing criminal offences.

It decides what the correct charges should be and is also responsible for prosecuting the case at court. It does not investigate crime.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) is responsible for the investigation of a crime. PSNI will forward the file to the PPS to decide who is to be prosecuted and for what offences.

Additional information can be found on the Public Prosecution Service website.