Meanwhile, the Secretary of State’s legal representative, on behalf of the NIO, on behalf of etc.. is at the Court of Appeal today. Contesting the High Court ruling on the appointment procedure followed by the NIO, and the Secretary of State, which resulted in Don MacKay and David Burrows appointed to the Parades Commission. The appeals may end today and the decision is expected to be reserved.. but, according to this Belfast Telegraph report, things may not be going well for the Secretary of State.From the Belfast Telegraph –
The Court of Appeal heard that Secretary of State Peter Hain wrote to the loyal orders because an official apparently included them in a list on her own initiative. The letters were central to a High Court ruling removing Orangeman David Burrows from the Commission this month.
Mr Hain is appealing the ruling, which found that officials were wrong to solicit applications from the loyal orders without considering if they should also ask nationalist groups.
The official in charge of the recruitment, Carol Moore, had told the High Court she believed the orders were inserted into a list of parties for Mr Hain to write to by another official, Diana Turkington. But the explanation could not be checked as Ms Turkington is on maternity leave.
“It’s rather remarkable that a decision of that kind should be taken by a middle management official without consultation,” Lord Justice Nicholson remarked during yesterday’s hearing. “Bizarre, it strikes me.”