Duffy, Re: HL 30 Jan 2008

The claimant sought judicial review of a decision to appoint two new members to the parades commission. His request succeeded at first instance, but had failed on appeal. He complained that letters inviting proposals for membership were sent to protestant organisations, but none went to nationalist groups including the residents association which he represented in a catholic area.
Held: The request succeeded. No Secretary of State could reasonably have confirmed the appointments made. The people appointed were so committed to one side of the community that they could not act with sufficient independence. The commission is not a court but it has a duty to seek to resolve contentious disputes by mediation where this is possible and, where it is not, to make determinations which will, so far as may be, reconcile the wishes of those who wish to parade with the wishes of those who do not wish to be intimidated, insulted or inconvenienced. These are not judicial tasks, but they are tasks which can only be satisfactorily performed by a body which is accepted by both parties as independent, objective and impartial in its approach. The two people appointed ‘had both been very prominent and committed proponents of the loyalist parade from Drumcree along the Garvaghy Road to Portadown. When appointed neither had resigned from the bodies to which they belonged and neither gave any recorded indication that he had changed his allegiance. No reasonable person, knowing of the two appointees’ background and activities, could have supposed that either would bring an objective or impartial judgment to bear on problems raised by the parade in Portadown and similar parades elsewhere. There is nothing in the papers which suggests that the interviewing panel recognised this problem at all, and I share the judge’s doubt, expressed in paragraph 16 of his judgment, whether they understood the nature of the task on which they were engaged. ‘
Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Baroness Hale of Richmond, Lord Carswell, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood
[2008] UKHL 4
Northern Ireland
Appeal fromDuffy, Re Application for Judicial Review CANI 9-Jun-2006
. .
Appeal fromDuffy, Re Application for Judicial Review CANI 9-Jun-2006
The claimant had sought judicial review of decisions to appoint new members of the parades commission, saying that preferences had been given to protestant groups who might send applicants.
Held: The defendants appeal succeeded, and the review . .
CitedWhite, Application for Judicial Review QBNI 18-May-2000
. .
CitedPorter and Weeks v Magill HL 13-Dec-2001
Councillors Liable for Unlawful Purposes Use
The defendant local councillors were accused of having sold rather than let council houses in order to encourage an electorate which would be more likely to be supportive of their political party. They had been advised that the policy would be . .

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Updated: 06 February 2021; Ref: scu.264022