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October 2018

Andy Wightman MSP and Others v Secretary of State for Exiting the EU [2018] CSIH 62

This is a legal challenge brought by 6 elected representatives and the Good Law Project, of which Jolyon Maugham QC is Director.
The applicants had asked the courts to refer to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) the question of whether the United Kingdom could revoke unilaterally the notification given under Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union. In March 2017, this notice was given by the Prime Minister to begin the process of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

European Law

In the Matter of an Application by Theresa Jordan for Judicial Review [2018] NICA 34

In this case, the applicants sought to challenge the verdict of a coroner through judicial review.
Pearse Jordan was shot and killed on 25th November 1992 by a member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary. He was 22 years old. The investigation into his death has been the subject of a number of inquests.
The applicant argued that the coroner had failed to discharge his responsibilities by concluding that ‘it is now impossible with the passage of time to say with any certainty what happened on that fateful afternoon’.

Local Developments

Lee v Ashers Baking Company Ltd and Others [2018] UKSC 49

The UK Supreme Court has held that a Belfast bakery refusing to provide a cake to a gay man with the message ‘support same sex marriage’ on it did not discriminate against him on grounds of sexual orientation or political belief.
Sexual Orientation
The Court found that the bakery did not refuse to fulfil the order because of the customer’s actual or perceived sexual orientation. The bakery objected to the message on the cake, not to the personal characteristics of the customer, nor anyone with whom he was associated.

Discrimination, Local Developments

Local case - Disability Discrimination Act · Belfast County Court awards £2,000 to Diabetes sufferer

A Belfast student who has Diabetes was awarded £2000 by Belfast County Court after security guards employed by Eventsec Ltd confiscated a bottle of Lucozade from her at a concert at the Boucher Road playing fields.

Kayla Hanna was told that she was not allowed to bring the bottle of Lucozade into the concert despite explaining to security that the drink was needed to manage her condition. 

Disability, Local Developments

In the matter of an application by Siobhan McLaughlin for Judicial Review (Northern Ireland) [2018] UKSC 48

An unmarried mother has won her legal challenge in the UK Supreme Court on the entitlement of unmarried couples to Widowed Parent’s Allowance.
Mother-of-four Siobhan McLaughlin lived with her partner, John Adams, for 23 years until his death in January 2014.  John had made sufficient national insurance contributions for Siobhan to qualify for bereavement benefits and Widowed Parent’s Allowance.  However, she was precluded from receiving these benefits due to the fact that the couple had not been married.

Local Developments, Social Security