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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BLM: PSNI to refund fines handed out to Black Lives Matter protesters

BLM: PSNI to refund fines handed out to Black Lives Matter protesters

Phoenix Law has welcomed a decision by the PSNI to refund fines handed out to Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters last year The police now have work to do in rebuilding confidence among ethnic minority communities. In February of this year, the PSNI said it did not have the power to to rescind or refund the BLM protest fines handed out during demonstrations held last June. Police were heavily criticized for their handling of the Northern Ireland protests, held as a part of a global movement following the murder of George Floyd in America in May 2020. Judicial Reviews on this issue remains before the Court for determination ...
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Prosecution of soldier to continue in the case of Aidan McAnespie

Prosecution of soldier to continue in the case of Aidan McAnespie

The family of Aidan McAnespie has welcomed a decision to continue with the prosecution of a former British soldier charged with his manslaughter. Former Grenadier Guardsman David Jonathan Holden shot Mr McAnespie dead close to a checkpoint on the border at Aughnacloy in Co Tyrone in February 1988 as he made his way to Aghaloo GAC's grounds. Confirmation that the prosecution case against him will continue came after the trial of Soldier F, who was accused of murdering two men, William McKinney and Jim Wray, on Bloody Sunday in Derry in 1972, was halted. The trial of another squaddie, Soldier B, who was accused of murdering 15-year-old Daniel Hegarty in 1972, has also been stopped. Both cases had been reviewed by the Public Prosecution Service after a judge ruled that statements given by former soldiers involved in the 1972 killing of Official IRA man Joe McCann were inadmissible. The court found that when the soldiers gave their statements to the Royal Military Police in...
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International Academy of Family Lawyers

International Academy of Family Lawyers

Ciaran Moynagh has been admitted as a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers. The association is a worldwide association of practising lawyers who are recognised by their peers as the most experienced and skilled family law specialists in their respective countries. IAFL was formed in 1986 as the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers to improve the practice of law and administration of justice in the area of divorce and family law throughout the world. https://www.iafl.com/fellows/ciaran-moynagh/28244 ...
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Supreme Court: Hooded men case commences

Supreme Court: Hooded men case commences

Supreme Court challenge to a court ruling that stated an independent investigation should take place into the treatment of the group of internees known as the ‘Hooded Men’ is to begin hearing opening submissions. The PSNI appealed the 2019 ‘Hooded Men’ torture case, challenging a previous ruling that an investigation into their treatment should now proceed. Today, the UK Supreme Court will hear the PSNI Chief Constable’s challenge to an Appeal Court judgment in favour of the ‘Hooded Men’. There were originally 14 men, who in a 1971 round-up of hundreds of people during internment, were taken from their homes hooded, and brought by helicopter to an army base. There, in units specially designed for the purpose, they were put through so-called 'deep interrogation', using five techniques of sensory deprivation notoriously used before and since in a number of conflicts worldwide. This included them being subjected to controlled, extreme deprivation, forced to spend long hours standing with their arms stretched out and their fingers touching the wall,...
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