Challenging times for Victims Commission

With one legal challenge continuing, it has emerged that there is another challenge, this time in the Industrial and Fair Employment Tribunals in Belfast, against the First and deputy First Ministers’ setting up of the 4-member Victims Commission. Interesting detail from the Belfast Telegraph report

Dr Marie Breen-Smyth was offered one of the four jobs announced by Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness in January, but she turned it down — asking what had happened to the single post she applied for a year ago. And she warned officials at the time that the plan to appoint four Commissioners was a recipe for disaster.

Which suggests that one of the current 4 Commissioners was, at best, the fifth choice for the job. The report also notes that

Dr Breen-Smyth declined to comment on her legal action. A spokesman for OFMDFM said: “These cases are due to come before the tribunals and will be strenuously defended by OFMDFM. In the circumstances it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

Ms Williamson’s lawyers want Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness called to the High Court to explain the reasons why they expanded the job. Mr Macdonald said the First Ministers have “stonewalled” because they are “refusing to say what they were thinking and doing during the relevant period”. Mr Justice Gillen is expected to rule over the summer on whether Mr McGuinness and the former First Minister should have to give evidence.

Unless they try the [new] Reynolds defence..

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  • wild turkey

    ‘The reader in international politics at the University of Wales has filed cases against the First Ministers’ Office with the Industrial and Fair Employment Tribunals in Belfast. ‘

    If a case has been filed with the Fair Employment Tribunal, there is an allegation of discrimination on the basis of religous belief and/or political opinion. As I understand it when a case is initially filed with the FET or IT, the applicant has to set out the basis why they think they were discriminated against because of their religion beliefs,political opinions or, in the instance of the IT, sex/gender .

    Anyway, good luck to Dr MB-S.

    Has she considered applying to the Equality Commission for legal assistance in pursuing her complaints against OFMDFM? The Equality Commission receives its funding from OFMDFM. One can only assume that the EC takes copious notes/minutes of all deliberations undertaken by Commissioners in reaching a decision on application for funding assistance.