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Sinn Féin comment on Parades Commission verdict

9 June, 2006

Sinn Féin Assembly member for Upper Bann John O'Dowd today described the decision of the Belfast High Court to back Peter Hain's appointment of a biased Parades Commission as a deeply worrying, if not surprising, judgement from a Diplock judge.

Mr O'Dowd said:

"Today's verdict in the High Court states clearly that the courts have no jurisdiction to challenge political decisions taken by Peter Hain. This leaves people in the situation that decisions taken by British Direct Rule Ministers are neither challengeable by the electorate through the ballot box or indeed the courts when obvious bias has been established.

"This verdict from the leading Diplock judge does not alter the fact that the current Parades Commission is unbalanced and that nationalist confidence in its ability to deliver in a fair and impartial manner has been badly damaged. This lack of confidence has been further damaged by Peter Hain‚s arrogant decision to appeal the original judgement." ENDS

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