NO-ONE seems to know who is responsible for parades, and the Parades Commission and the police appear to have received conflicting legal advice. I rather suspect that, legally, the Pardes Commission has been suckered on this one…
The Tele report:
The Government has since said there is confusion over the laws and that its legal advice has suggested forms may be legally completed even if the names of individuals were not submitted.
However, at a public meeting of the east Belfast District Policing Partnership this week, UUP MLA Michael Copeland asked Chief Superintendent Henry Irvine if the PSNI and Parades Commission received opposing legal advice on the forms.
Mr Irvine said there were two sets of legal advice. He said the view taken by the Parades Commission was that the completion of the 11/1 forms with multiple names was not acceptable.
He said he had taken guidance from the PSNI legal adviser and that because there was a difference in the two sets of advice, the matter should go to the PPS.
He said: “There were different pieces of legal advice, but they were only advice. They do not become guidance until the courts adjudicate.”
But Mr Copeland countered: “I find it hard to accept that the PSNI ignored their own legal advice, the consequences of that are frightful.
“I find myself in the middle of an experiment between two wings of Government who had different views on how a piece of paper should be filled in.”