Leave granted for a judicial review of Lord Morrow’s Prostitution law…

Another legal case, this time it’s the granting of a judicial review of Lord Maurice Morrow’s private members bill criminalising payment for sex. As our own Siobhan Fenton (writing here for the London Independent) notes: In an unprecedented case, a sex worker has taken launched a legal challenge against the laws, saying they expose sex workers to greater danger as it means they are more likely to have to operate alone. Laura Lee, a sex worker and Dublin-born law graduate, … Read more

“We say it’s highly improper and unorthodox, effectively OFMDFM are seeking to resist the grant of leave against the Department of Justice.”

A Belfast High Court judge has adjourned the application for a judicial review of the controversial new law criminalising the paying for sex following a last minute intervention by the Northern Ireland Attorney General on behalf of the Office of the NI First and Deputy First Ministers (OFMDFM). Interestingly, as the BBC report notes A barrister representing the [NI Department of Justice] confirmed it was not opposing Ms Lee’s application for a judicial review of the new law, on the basis that an arguable … Read more

Amnesty International votes to support decriminalisation of prostitution

Amnesty International have voted to campaign for the decriminalisation of prostitution provided it is within an environment whereby the sellers of sex are not underage and are not coerced. This is the latest part in a debate which has been going on for some time on the topic. Amnesty’s argument is that sex work has always and will always exist and what is required is harm reduction – along with an assertion that sex workers should have the agency to … Read more

Sex workers’ rights in Northern Ireland

With the DUP once again sliding into a comfortable majority and the law to further criminalise sex work due on June 1st, there has never been a more pertinent time to look at sex workers’ rights in Northern Ireland. We don’t have rights, but that’s about to change. As sex workers on the front line we know the damage that the forthcoming law will do. Sweden has the highest number of rapes in Europe, sex workers are being made homeless, … Read more

Talking without listening and victory without annihilation

Mick has covered the criminalisation of users of prostitution debate and the spat between Dr. Graham Ellison and Jim Wells ain the Stormont committee below. I thought there might be some merit in looking at what this shows about the DUP’s view of itself, others views of it and how the DUP deals with these sorts of issues. This episode seems to be a case of two sides talking without listening. I am not going to enter into the merits … Read more

Human Trafficking: No one is helped by a fevered moral crusade that promises the earth and delivers nothing

Whatever the liberal media think of the Assembly, it looks like it may be about to score a first and produce its very own indigenous piece of legislation, intriguingly for an Executive of all the parties, through the means of a private members bill. Perhaps that’s because the Minister for Justice shares a concern with the police that the result of Lord Morrow’s human trafficking legislation will be to dilute police resources and drive the problem of trafficked individuals further from … Read more