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Local Developments

Equality Commission intervenes in dispute involving a Christian-owed bakery

The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland has granted assistance to a complainant to pursue a challenge against a bakery who refused to bake a cake bearing the slogan ‘Support gay marriage.’

The Christian owner of the bakery said that he considered the slogan on the cake to be ‘ odds with what the Bible teaches’ and stressed that this was not the first time the company had refused a customer’s order,                                                        

LGBT, Local Developments

Advocate-General rules France’s MSM lifetime blood ban is unjustifiable

Another Advocate-General’s opinion, which is particularly relevant to local government, is that of A-G Mengozzi in a French case involving a lifetime ban on gay men donating blood.

A-G Mengozzi opined that France’s lifetime ban is not justifiable stating that it was too broad and generic.  He said that consideration needed to be given to individual sexual behaviour, and not simply sexual orientation, 

LGBT, Local Developments

Newtownbreda High School challenges Minister of Education’s closure decision

Parents of children of Newtownbreda High School are challenging John O’Dowd’s planned amalgamation of their school and Knockbreda High School.  The intention is to close both schools and create a new one. 

Education, Local Developments

High Court grants Protective Costs Order to Casement Residents Group

The Moorland and Owenvarragh Residents Association (MORA) have issued judicial review proceedings over the Department of the Environment’s decision to approve a 38,000-seater GAA stadium at Casement Park.

Leave was granted to seek a judicial review on 23rd May and, on 18th June, a Protective Costs Order (PCO), limiting potential liability for opposition fees to £10,000, was also granted to the residents group.

Cost Order, Local Developments

Miscarriages of Justice

With the death of Gerry Conlon, a member of the Guildford Four, on 22nd June, it is apt to reflect upon recent miscarriages of justice cases.

The MoJ has refused to pay compensation to Victor Nealon, who was wrongly imprisoned for 17 years before being freed on appeal.

Local Developments, Miscarriages of Justice

Nursing homes remain open but for how long?

Edwin Poots announced on 16th April that eighteen NHS care homes that were earmarked for closure are to remain open while residents want to stay in them.  The announcement has been warmly welcomed by the care homes and their residents.  However, questions remain about the long-term future of these homes as the Minister for Health has not reversed his policy of blocking new admissions.  Click here to read the commentary of Duane Farrell, the Director of Polic

Age Discrimination, Local Developments