Gender Recognition Act – requirement of ‘disorder’ incompatible with human rights.

Gender Recognition Act – requirement of ‘disorder’ incompatible with human rights.

A High Court Judge held that the obligation to prove disorder via medical reports in order to secure official recognition of preferred gender is incompatible with human rights. The woman, who began her transition more than 20 years ago, took legal action in a bid to obtain a new birth certificate. But in order to obtain the necessary Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) she must provide evidence of a specific disorder - gender dysphoria. Her lawyers that amounted to unlawful stigmatisation. Ruling on the challenge, Mr Justice Scoffield found that the specific requirement to prove she was suffering from a disorder was unjustified. He described it as “an unnecessary affront to the dignity of a person applying for gender recognition through the legal process set out for that purpose by Parliament”. Judicial review proceedings brought against the Government Equalities Office (GEA) focused on the terms of the Gender Recognition Act 2004. Granted anonymity, the woman claimed in an affidavit that the legal requirement caused her to...
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Allison Morris and Aoife Moore case heard before High Court in Dublin.

Allison Morris and Aoife Moore case heard before High Court in Dublin.

Journalists, Ms Allison Morris and Ms Aoife Moore have had their cases commenced at the High Court in Dublin this afternoon before Mr Justice Allen.  In two separate applications, heard together, they sought an Order for an expedited hearing in respect of seeking disclosure of the details of the users to whom persistently targeted, harassed and defamed them on the social media platform Twitter.  At the hearing today, the Judge agreed that the matter was of an urgency which enabled the Court to deal with the cases today and has now listed the matter for a full hearing on the issues on Friday 4th June 2021.  At the hearing on 4th June 2021 both our clients will seek “Norwich Pharmacal” orders compelling both Twitter and Mr Harris to identify those behind the offending posts on the social media platform.    Darragh Mackin and Claire McKeegan, Partners of Phoenix Law acting for Ms Moore and Ms Morris: “We are glad that the Court has recognised the...
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Journalist, Aoife Moore initiates proceedings against Twitter and Eoghan Harris.

Journalist, Aoife Moore initiates proceedings against Twitter and Eoghan Harris.

We act on behalf of the distinguished journalist, Aoife Moore.  Our client has been the subject of an extensive and malicious campaign of online abuse which encompassed in excess of 120 tweets from two accounts in a period short of twelve months.  The tweets sought to attack our client’s reputation and undermine her professionalism and integrity. Most concerning of all, some of the tweets directed at our client sought to belittle her views and undermine her professionalism through the use of misogynistic language.   Our client has now taken steps to initiate proceedings against Twitter and Mr Eoghan Harris (a former journalist) to compel the urgent disclosure of the relevant information to which identifies the other parties involved in this reprehensible conduct.  All of those individuals involved in such conduct should be identified without any further delay.  Aoife Moore said: "For over a year these obsessive attacks on me have sought to damage my reputation and standing as a journalist among my peers and colleagues. These posts tagged other...
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Journalist, Allison Morris issues proceedings against Eoghan Harris and Twitter

Journalist, Allison Morris issues proceedings against Eoghan Harris and Twitter

Award winning Journalist, Allison Morris has issued libel proceedings seeking Injunctive relief requiring Eoghan Harris to disclose all fake accounts he has used to harass and defame her on the social media platform, Twitter over a period of months as well as all those other individuals who were involved. Allison Morris States: The sustained and obsessive attacks on myself by these accounts occurred at a time and in a manner that was clearly designed to damage my professional reputation. That other journalists were tagged in the abusive posts a tactic designed to spread these dangerous and defamatory allegations to as wide an audience as possible. As a female journalist and commentator, the posts also had a deeply misogynist tone to them, all too common on social media. Women working in the media are not fair game for those who wish to control every aspect of our profession and dictate who is entitled to a platform. Claire McKeegan, Partner of Phoenix Law acting for Ms...
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The Ballymurphy Inquest – ‘All entirely innocent’

The Ballymurphy Inquest – ‘All entirely innocent’

Ms Justice Keegan sitting as the Coroner has today published her findings in respect of the Ballymurphy Inquest.  The findings make it clear that the killing of our client’s father at the manse field was disproportionate and without justification.   The Court found that there was no evidence put forward which supported the Military’s original version of events.  Crucially, the Court pointed to stark fact that a child who was also in the field on the night in question had been shot.   The evidence as adduced at the inquest confirms that the killing of our client was wholly unjustified.     In addition, the Court has found that the lack of management and preparation for the military operation was a breach of the European Convention of Human Rights.   Today’s decision vindicates the Ballymurphy family’s campaign for truth, justice and accountability.  The Court has today corrected the record.  Our client, and all the families killed at the Ballymurphy massacre, were innocent victims shot and killed by the...
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Lisa Smith wins legal battle in London court to the Decision to exclude her from the UK.

Lisa Smith wins legal battle in London court to the Decision to exclude her from the UK.

On the 31st of December 2019 Lisa Smith was served with a notice by the British Home Secretary to exclude her from the United Kingdom on the grounds of national security.  Ms Smith appealed against this decision to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (commonly referred to as SIAC) sitting in London.  The case was heard on 21st April 2021.  It was an agreed fact between the parties that a national of an EEA state who is not also a British citizen can be excluded from the United Kingdom. Accordingly, Irish nationals or citizens can be excluded, but not those with dual nationality. Ms Smith argued that she had close family connections to the North of Ireland and often travelled across the border for a variety of reasons.  Crucially, she argued that in any event, her father having been born in Belfast was entitled to be treated as a dual national and by virtue of his dual nationality, it would be unlawful to...
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Institutional abuse victims sue over data breach

Institutional abuse victims sue over data breach

MORE than 70 people are to take a class action after the identities of over 250 institutional abuse victims were revealed in a major data breach last year. In a writ to be lodged in the High Court, victims are suing the former interim victims' advocate Brendan McAllister and the Executive Office for damages. It is understood to be one of the largest class actions in Northern Ireland's legal history. The survivors' identities were accidentally circulated in an email sent by Mr McAllister's office in May 2020. Some of those identified included victims and survivors who are suffering from serious psychiatric issues and others whose families do not know they were abused. The writ, issued by solicitor Claire McKeegan of Phoenix Law, stated that abuse victims have "suffered and continue to suffer distress, anxiety and reputational damage". Ms McKeegan said "survivors and victims of institutional abuse require their privacy and data protection more than most". "They put their faith in the interim advocate's office and shared highly...
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Stardust Inquest delayed on 40th anniversary of fire.

Stardust Inquest delayed on 40th anniversary of fire.

The Stardust families who face the 40th anniversary of the Dublin tragedy this week have been "let down by the State once again" as its inquest is delayed. This weekend marks 40 years since 48 young people sadly lost their lives in the fire which gutted the Stardust nightclub in Artane on Valentine's Day 1981. Today, it has emerged that the inquest into the fire which saw 214 further people injured has been stalled due to funding issues. The inquest was due to begin by May, with two remote hearings postponed in December and January, but now solicitor Darragh Mackin says the Department of Justice has still failed to approve funding for barristers for the families. Mackin is leading the Phoenix Law legal team which represents 46 families affected by the fire and says the lack of funding so far will lead to further delays. The inquest is expected to be the largest in the history of the State. Senator Lynn Boylan, who has continuously campaigned...
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Court of Appeal – Legacy Victims’ Pensions victory

Court of Appeal – Legacy Victims’ Pensions victory

The Executive Office is under a legal duty to fund a pension scheme for victims of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, the Court of Appeal has ruled. Senior judges made the declaration in an ongoing legal battle by one of the so-called Hooded Men to break the political stalemate over who pays the compensation. In August last year, the High Court held that the Executive Office deliberately stymied introduction of the scheme in a bid to force the UK Government into footing the bill. Following that verdict, the Department of Justice was designated to administer the programme. Since then, however, a funding dispute between Stormont and Westminster has continued. A draft budget announced by Sinn Féin Finance Minister Conor Murphy last month only included the administrative costs of pensions. With no order made in the first court case to provide grant funding, Brian Turley appealed that outcome in a bid to ensure the necessary financial package is immediately put in place. He was among 14 men detained,...
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