Leave granted to apply for judicial review of ‘damaging fudge’

UTV carries a short report noting that, in Belfast’s High Court today, leave has been granted for the legal challenge to the First and deputy First ministers’ appointment of FOUR Victims Commissioners to go ahead.

Mr Justice Gillen ruled there was enough public importance in the case brought by Michelle Williamson to grant leave to apply for a judicial review.

, ,

  • PeaceandJustice

    Best wishes to Michelle Williamson in her campaign for justice. These SF PIRA/DUP appointments need to be challenged as they have put the victims and the perpetrators at the same level.

    I assume Jeffrey Donaldson no longer supports her given the role of the DUP in elevating Sinn Fein PIRA linked members to the commission. A result of being contaminated by SF PIRA terrorists in Government.

  • heck

    I am all for a system of “checks and balances” in government and think that the concept of the sovereignty of parliament is wrong (witness Honest Tony’s decision to stop a criminal investigation of BAe). However does anyone think this judicial review stuff in Nor Iron has gone a little too far? It seems to me that the appointment of a “victim’s commissioner” (or none or 4 or 100) is a matter for the political system. If the DUP and SF, who are the elected representatives of both communities agree what they want then the judiciary should butt out. If we cede too much power to unelected judges then what does that mean for the concept of democracy.

  • ulsterfan


    The courts must be used to check on the powers exercised by politicians and to make sure they do not go beyond the mark.
    It is all about checks and balances.
    Everyone is answerable to the Law.
    Too much power in the hands of politicians is not to be recommended.

  • Granni Trixie

    Heck “is a matter for the political system”?

    Sounds like you are accepting that the First Minister and his Deputy are above equality law and rules governing public appointments. Is this good enough?

  • wild turkey

    ‘It is all about checks and balances. ‘

    but in a system of checks and balances senior judicial appointments are recommended by the executive and scrutinised/approved by the legislature.

    In this particular jurisdiction just who oversees the proposed appointment of senior judges? Here they seemingly/allegedly ’emerge’ from a self-regarding, socially arrogant and morally suspect limited pool of barristers. Sorry maybe that should read pool of limited barristers.

  • heck


    I don’t disagree with you. The problem is where you draw the line. In britain there is no check based on the concept of the “sovereignty of parliament” and this is “not to be recommended”. In Norn Iron it seems to me that it is too much in the other direction.

    The appointment of a victims commisioner in clearly something that belongs in the political arena. Give that we have a system of mutual veteos an agreement between the DUP and SF, in this case, should be final.

    I have no problem with judical contraints on politicans -it’s where it is allowed and where it is not

  • interested

    Granni Trixie
    Michelle Williamson isn’t taking this case because of any alleged breach of equality law – its because she’s being used by some people who don’t like the fact that a republican has been appointed.

    As for the process of appointment – the Commissioner for Public Appointments was consulted and is happy so you have to wonder what the motivation is.

    I don’t implicate Michelle Williamson personally in anything – she’s being used by others with a political agenda and are happy to exploit victims in whatever way they want. Ironically enough, some of the biggest exploitation of real victims goes on through groups which are euphemistically called “victims groups”, but which seem to exist in order to collect public money to fund a political campaign.

    The Commissioners have absolutely no role in deciding who is or isn’t a victim. They can only work within the legislation by which they are bound. I would like to see that legislation changed and hopefully it will happen.

  • Due Process

    interested: “As for the process of appointment – the Commissioner for Public Appointments was consulted and is happy so you have to wonder what the motivation is.”

    The Commissioner for Public Appointments was also consulted and was happy with the appointments made to the Parades Commission in 2006. In case you missed it, the House of Lords unanimously ruled in January this year that those appointments were illegal.

  • aticuss

    I bet the the folks on the hill are getting keener to take control of justice now!

    Mr Justice Gillen has already granted a judicial review – to be heard mid April – against Speaker Hay and his Commission colleagues who have been accused of bad faith and discrimination by former employees.