Case Blog

NI Court of Appeal overturn Police Ombudsman funding decision

On 7th November the Court of Appeal reversed a decision of the High Court that the Department of Justice (DOJ) had failed to provide sufficient funding to the Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland (PONI).

In the earlier decision the High Court ruled that the DOJ acted unlawfully by failing to provide sufficient funding to PONI to enable it to carry out its statutory obligation to investigate a complaint by Patricia Bell within a reasonable period of time. 

Local Developments

Supreme Court to sit in Belfast

The Supreme Court will hear the final appeal in the Ashers Bakery cake next April when it sits in Belfast for the first time.

Lady Hale, President of the Supreme Court, will be joined by three other judges including the former Lord Chief Justice, Lord Kerr.  The four judges will hear arguments on whether Ashers Bakery discriminated against a customer on the grounds of sexual orientation when it refused to fulfil an order for a cake with a slogan supporting same sex marriage.  The bakery’s Christian owners do not accept that it breached equality laws by refusing to make the cake.


Resident group to challenge Council's planning decision  

On 14th November the High Court granted permission to residents to judicially review Belfast City Council’s planning decision to approve a major office development in an inner city housing district. 
Residents in the Markets area of Belfast are opposed to the construction of a multi-storey office block as they claim it will impact negatively on their right to privacy. 

Local Developments, Property Rights

Torture victims win legal challenge against Home Office

Medical Justice (and Ors) -v- Secretary of State for the Home Department[2017] EWHC 2461 (Admin)


Survivors of torture have won a legal challenge against Home Office rules on asylum seeker detention in the UK. 


Immigration & Asylum

Terminally ill man loses assisted dying challenge


Noel Douglas Conway -v- The Secretary of State for Justice and Others [2017] EWHC 2447 (Admin)


A man suffering from motor neurone disease has lost his challenge against the law on assisted dying.  Mr Conway wanted a declaration that the Suicide Act 1961, which lays out the law on assisted dying, is incompatible with Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) which relates to respect for private and family life.