SOR case goes to High Court
A judge at the High Court in Belfast is currently considering the Christian Institute’s case against the Sexual Orientation Regulations for Northern Ireland (NI). Over three days in June the institute’s legal team argued that the regulations unduly interfere with religious liberty and were rushed onto the statute book without adequate consultation.
Representations were also made by a barrister on behalf of the Government, and three intervening parties (a gay rights group, the NI Equality Commission and the NI Human Rights Commission) also put their cases. The Roman Catholic Church formally adopted the legal arguments put forward by the Christian Institute’s barrister.
During the case the judge asked many questions about the effect of the regulations on religious liberty and free speech and the impact of the harassment provisions on churches and schools.
The judge will deliberate on the case, probably for a period of months, and announce his decision on the judicial review perhaps in September after the summer court recess.