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‘Bradley ignoring fundamental inequalities at behest of DUP’ - Fearon

27 February, 2019 - by Megan Fearon

Sinn Féin MLA Megan Fearon has accused the British Government of ignoring fundamental legal inequalities at the behest of the DUP.

The party’s Equality and Human Rights spokesperson was commenting after the British Secretary of State announced plans to legislate to give the Human Rights Commission legal standing to act in cases like last year’s Supreme Court abortion challenge.

Megan Fearon said:

“It’s not before time that steps were taken to close the legal technicality preventing the Human Rights Commission winning last year’s Supreme Court challenge.

“That loophole led to the bizarre situation where the majority of Supreme Court judges ruled that abortion laws here are incompatible with human rights legislation in cases of fatal foetal abnormality and sexual crime but the application was dismissed because they also ruled that the Commission did not have the standing to take the case.

“However, in only dealing with the technicality regarding the Commission’s status, the British Secretary of State is ignoring the fundamental issue at the heart of the case. 

“She is tinkering round the edges while doing absolutely nothing to address the incompatibility of our laws with human rights standards and the clear need for reform.

“Once again, the British government has shown that it is prepared to introduce legislation where it suits the British government but will continue to ignore the legal inequalities surrounding women’s healthcare, marriage equality, Acht Gaeilge, the legacy bodies, inquests and compensation for victims of institutional abuse.

“This a la carte approach is motivated solely by the need to keep the DUP onside and again exposes the failure of the British Government to implement agreements and challenge the ongoing denial of rights and equality in the North.”

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