Charges re-instated against Marian Price and others

The BBC reports that the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) have re-instated charges against Marian Price and three Londonderry men in relation to a 32 County Sovereignty Movement Easter Monday parade in the city in 2011.  Among those being charged again is Marvin Canning – the 50-year-old brother-in-law of Northern Ireland deputy First Minister, Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness.  From the BBC report In May, a district judge said he would not return the four for trial as there were “no papers in front of …

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“It’s up to the prosecution to make the case why it should no longer exist.”

The BBC have an interesting update on the reporting restrictions, specifically court orders prohibiting the media from reporting either the identities or addresses of the defendants, in the case of “three men and two women – some of them senior republicans – who are accused of PIRA activity”.  From the BBC report All five are charged with belonging to a proscribed organisation on dates stretching back to 1999. Four of them are accused of arranging, addressing or assisting in the management …

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“court orders prohibit the media from reporting either the identities or addresses of the defendants…”

In the News Letter Sam McBride has some extra detail to an interesting story, for a number of reasons, that was initially reported in the Irish News earlier in the week.  From the News Letter report RARE reporting restrictions which bar the media from identifying five people charged with Provisional IRA membership have caused concern to an MLA. The charges, which have been brought against three men and two women, relate to membership of the Provisional IRA from dates in 1999 …

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“the learned judge who granted bail [] did not have the power to do so in the particular circumstances of this case”

Despite earlier reports that the Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Owen Paterson, had ordered Martin Corey’s re-arrest following the judicial review ruling for unconditional bail in the case, it appears he merely sought a stay while an appeal was prepared.  The Belfast Telegraph notes the Appeal Court’s initial ruling A judge who granted unconditional bail to a convicted double murderer did not have the power to do so, the Court of Appeal has ruled. Martin Corey is now expected to remain …

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NI Secretary of State blocks Martin Corey release

Sinn Féin’s Raymond McCartney, deputy chair of the Assembly’s Justice Committee [and noted plagiarist! – Ed], may have welcomed today’s Belfast court ruling that the Parole Commissioners had breached former Provisional IRA member Martin Corey’s human rights in refusing to release him, and ordering his release on unconditional bail.  But the Guardian reports that Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Owen Paterson has intervened.  Corey had been released on licence in 1992 after serving 19 years for the murder of two policemen.  Former NI Secretary …

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“A person in county Donegal… may know of a process against him being before a court in Northern Ireland but that alone is not sufficient”

Here’s an interesting, if legally technical, story from the Irish Times.  Apparently a Northern Ireland judge has ruled that “its courts do not have the jurisdiction to proceed with cases where the defendant is resident outside the UK unless a summons has been served on them through the court.”  And that includes Ireland.  From the Irish Times report The test case was brought after a man with Donegal address and an Irish driver’s licence was caught travelling at 44mph in …

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“the trust’s over-riding focus is the protection of the environment and landscape within the distinctive setting of Northern Ireland’s only World Heritage Site”

The BBC report on the news that the National Trust are seeking leave for a judicial review of the decision to grant planning permission for a 18-hole golf course, hotel and golf lodges complex at Runkerry, close to the Unesco World Heritage Centre Giants’ Causeway and Causeway Coast, begins thus Stormont ministers have reacted angrily to a legal challenge by the National Trust over the decision to grant planning permission for a £100m golf resort on Northern Ireland’s north coast. That’s according to an …

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Hain ‘clarifies’ comments in contempt of court case

Sort of…  After the bluster from various political and media sources over, the “statutorily independent” NI Attorney General, John Larkin’s decision to charge former Secretary of State for Wales, etc, Peter Hain, MP, and his publisher, with contempt of court over remarks in Mr Hain’s autobiography, the BBC has news from the High Court. Former NI Secretary Peter Hain has written to Attorney General John Larkin clarifying remarks he made about a high court judge in his memoirs. He said it …

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“UK courts cannot force the handing over of journalistic material to foreign organizations…”

Just a quick note of the BBC reporting that Garda have failed in their attempt to force the BBC and UTV to hand over unbroadcast video footage of rioting in Dublin during Queen Elizabeth II’s visit last year.  From the BBC report The request which was made through the Home Office failed after Senior Belfast Judge Tom Burgess agreed with the case put by the broadcasters. He found UK courts cannot force the handing over of journalistic material to foreign organizations. Just …

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“Police will consider the comments made by Judge Weir…”

They should, because it’s good advice.  From a Belfast Telegraph report Mr Justice Weir criticised the PSNI for relying on advice from unelected community spokesmen. The judge claimed that he had a “considerable sense of unease” concerning the credence that had been given to views from certain groups or individuals. “The police would do very well to distance themselves from them, rather than getting in with them,” said Judge Weir. A report in the Irish News has some more detail Initially …

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NI Attorney General: “Citizens are entitled to have confidence in the administration of justice”

Conveniently, neither the Northern Ireland First or deputy First Ministers, nor either of their juniors, were available to the NI Assembly on Monday to answer Jim Allister’s pointed question on their continued confidence, or otherwise, in the “statutorily independent” NI Attorney General, John Larkin.  [As open and transparent as possible! – Ed]  There’s been no such reticence from others.  The NI Finance Minister, the DUP’s Sammy Wilson,  has criticised the cost of the Attorney General’s contempt of court proceedings against the former Secretary of …

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The Attorney General of Northern Ireland “accordingly considers it appropriate that the author and publisher of ‘Outside In’ should be punished for contempt of court”

If the former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland [and Wales, etc! – Ed], Peter Hain, MP, thought his recent controversial remarks about Lord Justice Girvan had been forgotten about, he’s had to think again.  As a statement from his publisher reveals On 20 March 2012 Lord Justice Higgins granted leave to the Attorney General of Northern Ireland to bring proceedings for contempt of court against Biteback Publishing and Peter Hain.  The proceedings relate to a passage in Peter Hain’s memoir, …

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“The agency’s investigation has produced evidence of what might be characterised as a lawless lifestyle”

The BBC reports the delayed start of the Serious Organised Crime Agency’s [SOCA] application for a civil recovery order of property and assets belonging to Seamus Francis Mullan. A former member of the Provisional IRA who was serving a life imprisonment sentence for the 1985 murder of an off-duty RUC officer before being freed on early release licence in 1998, Mullan was arrested in 2006 on money laundering and fraud charges – at the time he was described in court as a “disaffected republican”. Subsequently, the …

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Lord Chief Justice: “it is difficult to regard the remarks as anything other than undermining and unhelpful to the administration of justice in Northern Ireland”

Apparently, I haven’t read it, former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Peter Hain, MP for Neath, devotes two pages of his recently published memoirs to an attack on Lord Justice Girvan.  More specifically, an attack on the then Mr Justice Girvan for his 2006 High Court ruling that Peter Hain “acted for an improper motive” when appointing Bertha McDougall Interim Victims Commissioner and was “in breach of the Ministerial Code of Practice” and that the then Secretary of State “approve[d] …

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Belfast High Court Annuls Sean Quinn Bankruptcy

As the BBC reports, in the latest instalment of the continuing complicated legal battle between Sean Quinn and the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), formerly Anglo Irish Bank, Belfast High Court has ruled that Mr Quinn is not entitled to declare himself bankrupt in the UK.  He can, however, apply for bankruptcy in Ireland.  From the BBC report At the High Court on Tuesday Mr Justice Deeney found in favour of the bank, annulling the bankruptcy. He found that a lease for an office in …

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Northern Ireland’s roads remain safe: possibly not at 111mph

Some good news was published by both the BBC and News Letter yesterday. There were 59 deaths on the roads in Northern Ireland last year, a rise from 55 the year before, but still vastly lower than in the past. Prior to 2010 the lowest number of deaths was in 2008 at 107. As the News Letter notes it is sometimes seen as distasteful to celebrate a reduction in deaths when people are still being killed but the reality is …

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Justice Minister: “grandstanding and chest beating seen in the Chamber” on mandatory sentences call

As the BBC reports, yesterday in the Northern Ireland Assembly, by 44 votes to 41, MLAs called on the NI Justice Minister, Alliance Party leader David Ford, to “introduce legislation to impose mandatory minimum prison sentences for people who are found guilty of violent crimes against older or vulnerable people”. The motion was agreed despite opposition from the NI Justice Minister and a number of MLAs with legal backgrounds.  The NI Justice Minister also pointed out that, “officials from my Department are in …

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Sean Quinn’s statement of affairs to NI Court ‘appeared to be unsatisfactory’

That’s according to reported comments by lawyers for the Official Receiver in Northern Ireland who, following Sean Quinn’s application for UK bankruptcy, is currently in control of Quinn’s worldwide assets. The comments were made during a Dublin Commercial Court hearing on an application by the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) for the repayment of €2billion in loans which had been personally guaranteed by Sean Quinn.  From the RTÉ report The Irish Bank Resolution Corporation told the Commercial Court the action for judgment should go …

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Irish Bank Resolution Corporation [formerly Anglo Irish Bank] to challenge Sean Quinn’s UK bankruptcy application

Interesting development in the continuing complicated legal battle between Sean Quinn, and family, and the artists formerly known as Anglo Irish Bank [now the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC)]. On Friday Sean Quinn was declared bankrupt at the High Court in Belfast despite, as the BBC report puts it, “the majority of the 64-year-old’s holdings and debt being from the Irish Republic.” The application to be declared bankrupt in the UK came just days before a Dublin Court was due to hear an application …

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Legal Aid Fees Dispute: “It’s a farce.”

More on the ongoing legal aid fees dispute.  UTV reports that just 18 out of 500 law firms in Northern Ireland have said they are willing to work under the disputed new pay rates. A Department of Justice spokesman said: “Copies of the list of firms willing to undertake criminal legal aid work is available to all defendants seeking legal representation from court offices. “Copies of the list have also been provided to the Prison Service for clients on remand without …

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