Judicial Review: Barriers for Trans people to obtain Gender Recognition Certificate removed

Judicial Review: Barriers for Trans people to obtain Gender Recognition Certificate removed

BARRIERS to transgender people in Northern Ireland securing official acknowledgment of their preferred identity are to be removed by a settlement reached in a High Court challenge. Earlier this year a judge ruled that requiring a woman seeking a gender recognition certificate to prove she is suffering from a "disorder" was incompatible with her human rights. Issues remained unresolved over the obligation for applicants to provide two medical reports - one from a GP and one from a specialist in the field of gender dysphoria. But the Belfast Health Trust has now agreed to provide the woman, referred to as JR 111, with access to the necessary consultant. It will also fund assessments and reports for current and previous patients at a regional gender identity clinic in the city. With the confirmation bringing an end to JR 111's challenge, her solicitor described the outcome as a great relief after spending years trying to obtain medical reports. Ciaran Moynagh of Phoenix Law said: "More widely, it is...
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Scappaticci  case to proceed

Scappaticci case to proceed

Mr Justice Horner refused to stay the civil actions brought over alleged wrongdoings by Freddie Scappaticci, who denies that he was the agent codenamed Stakeknife. Scappaticci’s suspected activities while in charge of the IRA’s internal security unit – commonly known as the ‘Nutting Squad’ – are at the centre of an ongoing police inquiry into a series of murders, abductions and possible state misconduct. Jon Boutcher, the former Chief Constable of Bedfordshire heading the Operation Kenova investigation, wanted the court to postpone all civil claims until his probe and any related criminal proceedings are finalised. But the application was refused due to potential ongoing delay and the entitlement to a fair and expeditious trial of the actions under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Mr Justice Horner pointed out that the alleged offences occurred up to 35 years ago. “Memories inevitably are fading, some of those involved in the litigation or those who will be important witnesses have died and some are...
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RUC officer referred to PPS in connection with murder of Reavey brothers

RUC officer referred to PPS in connection with murder of Reavey brothers

A former police officer could face prosecution over the murder of three brothers in 1976. John, Brian and Anthony Reavey were shot multiple times in their home in Whitecross, South Armagh. Darragh Mackin said for over four and a half decades the Reavey family have pursued a dignified and admirable campaign for justice which at times seen certain corners vilifying Eugene Reavey. Today exonerates our client’s campaign for justice which has exposed the state sponsored Glenanne gang. ...
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Greenvale: Police Ombudsman has called for a wider investigation.

Greenvale: Police Ombudsman has called for a wider investigation.

The Police Ombudsman has raised a number of "policing practice matters" with the PSNI in order to prevent further tragedies like the Greenvale Hotel deaths from occurring again. Police Ombudsman Marie Anderson confirmed in a statement that investigators from her office have met the families of Lauren Bullock, Morgan Barnard, both 17, and 16-year-old Connor Currie, who all died on St Patrick's Day 2019 during a crush outside the hotel in Cookstown. Mrs Anderson said investigators have briefed the families on a "broad range of enquiries" that have been conducted so far in the investigation, which was launched after a referral by the then Chief Constable George Hamilton in relation to the police response to the incident. Darragh Mackin has now called for a public inquiry into the tragic events. ...
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Judicial Review – JR159: School starting age

Judicial Review – JR159: School starting age

Legislation governing the compulsory school starting age for children in Northern Ireland is inflexible and unjustified, the High Court has ruled. A judge also held that a prematurely born four-year-old boy's human rights could be breached if he is forced to begin classes in September. Mr Justice Scoffield urged the Department of Education to try to reach an agreement with the child's family before the new term. Northern Ireland's starting age for pupils is the currently lowest in Europe. Urgent judicial review proceedings were launched after a request for the boy to be allowed to commence school in September 2022 was refused. Lawyers for the boy argued that it was an arbitrary and unfair situation where the start date would be put off by 12 months if he had been born just a day later. They claimed the decision is incompatible with rights to private and family life under Article 8 European Convention on Human Rights. The Department's legal representatives told the court that while legislative reform is...
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Birth Mothers for Justice demand statutory inquiry

Birth Mothers for Justice demand statutory inquiry

A group representing the victims of the mother and baby homes scandal has written to Stormont party leaders asking for their support in seeking a full statutory inquiry. The Belfast Telegraph has obtained a copy of the letter from Birth Mothers and their Children for Justice NI, which tells of their decade-long campaign to be recognised as victims and their frustration that promises from local politicians have not been followed by tangible action. A report from the specially-commissioned Truth and Recovery Panel is due to be delivered to the Executive this month. The panel, whose findings will be made public, will recommend the most appropriate form of any future investigation — and there is no guarantee that a public inquiry into systematic abuse at homes and Magdalene laundries between 1922 and 1990 will follow. In the meantime, victims are seeking the full backing of the main parties. “Many have died without justice, recompense and a public apology for the horrendous abuse we have carried throughout...
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NI first judgment on puberty blockers

NI first judgment on puberty blockers

After the controversial judgments of Bell v Tavistock and A & B in England and Wales the Belfast Trust sought permission from the High Court to provide hormone blockers to a 16 year old. Our Ciaran Moynagh acted for the young person in these proceedings. The Court held there was no need for requested permission and young person was to receive treatment. Full judgment here ...
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