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Carnival

Sex worker Laura Lee's challenge to prostitution laws on hold after Stormont's First and deputy First Ministers intervene

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Laura Lee's legal challenge to a new law criminalizing clients in Northern Ireland was put on hold this morning after a last-minute intervention by Stormont's First and deputy First Ministers.

The case was adjourned at the High Court in Belfast this morning after a judge was told Attorney General John Larkin QC has been instructed to oppose her challenge on behalf of Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness.

Lawyers for Ms Lee, a 38-year-old Dublin-born law graduate, claimed it was a "highly improper and unorthodox" attempt to stop the action advancing to a full hearing.

More at http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/sex-worker-laura-lees-challenge-to-prostitution-laws-on-hold-after-foster-and-mcguinness-intervene-34468141.html

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This last-minute intervention is clearly a tactic, by those opposes to Laura, to increase her costs. They could have brought this challenge much earlier and thereby prevented her from having to pay her lawyers for today and her own travel costs. This is absolutley dispicable and shows what ar** holes those who support this flawed legislation are. Sadly, this type of move is all to common when someone with limited financial resources tries to get justice. ("The rich get justice, the poor get the law"). The only good thing is that this has clearly pissed off the judge but I doubt if it will alter his decision.

My reaction to this is that I am going to make a further contribution to Laura's fund. I hope other members of this forum will do the same.

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It's quite shocking as a piece of politicking. I feel sorry for Laura having to devote yet more nervous energy, time and money to the case. Thanks for posting a reminder about how to contribute, Carnival.

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Oh good grief! What a mess.

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I'm wondering have if the knob ends that form The Republic's Political Class have behind the scenes requested their Northern Irish Knob End Equivalents to keep delaying the process until it can be slyed in down South, where we don't actually have a Government yet due an inconclusive outcome a few weeks ago!

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I'd buy that. Talk about an unholy alliance!

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This is a blatent ploy by those opposed to Laura's challenge to muddy the waters and push up her costs so she is forced to abandon the case.

I am not a lawyer, but if it is not clear who the respondent should be for Laura's case then I completely fail to understand how any prosecution, under the Act, could every be brought. I am sure one on the lawyers on here will put me right on this, but it seems to me that if the Judge's argument is right then any conviction could be challenged on the grounds that the prosecuting organisation failed to respond to Laura's case.

Leaving the finer points of legal theory to one side, I urge everyone who supports he to make a donation to her fund. How about the cost of one punt as a minimum? I will be making a further donation myself.

 

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Those who have been following Laura's legal challenge will remember that, at a hearing in March, proceedings were adjourned till 26 April to allow consideration of the correct respondent(s) in the case.

The Department of Justice was originally named as the respondent, but papers were subsequently served on the Northern Ireland Assembly owing to the legislation’s origins in the chamber.

The legal proceedings were described as being “in uncharted waters”.

On 26 April an agreed position was put to the High Court at a hearing before the senior judicial review judge.

The Northern Ireland Assembly will not play a role in proceedings and the case will progress to a contested leave hearing with the Department of Justice remaining as a respondent and the Office of First Minister and deputy First Minister being added as a respondent.

No date has yet been set for the hearing but Laura's solicitor Ciarán Moynagh has said it is hoped that it will be before the end of June.

http://www.irishlegal.com/4140/bid-to-overturn-sex-purchase-laws-to-proceed-to-judicial-leave-hearing/

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Pass the Parcel? What a mess! Thanks for the update, Carnival.

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Posted (edited)

Good on Laura for keeping going in the face of blatent attempts to derail her challenge. I hope everyone on here has contributed to her fighting fund and will make further donations as the case drags on. It is common practice, where one party has limited funds, for the other side to force a "win" by increasing costs until the weaker party runs out of money and has to quit. This is clearly what the NI "Justice" department is up to so continued funding is very important on this if Laura is to have any chance of winning. 

I have looked through the PSNI web site news pages and there are no recent reports of any brothel raids or other action being taken under the Act. I updated the number of WGs advertising on the Internet in March and up till then there had been no reduction in the numbers advertising  and prices appeared to be stable. If anything, the numbers advertising increased slightly but there is a lot of variability in the month-to-month figures so I would not like to put too much weight on this. I will update the figures agian in June - one year after the Act came into force - but my tentative conclusion is that the Act has had no effect on the indoor sector of the sex trade.

http://www.punternet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/38900-trend-in-northern-ireland/

Edited by Dave451
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2 hours ago, Dave451 said:

Good on Laura for keeping going in the face of blatent attempts to derail her challenge. I hope everyone on here has contributed to her fighting fund and will make further donations as the case drags on. It is common practice, where one party has limited funds, for the other side to force a "win" by increasing costs until the weaker party runs out of money and has to quit. This is clearly what the NI "Justice" department is up to so continued funding is very important on this if Laura is to have any chance of winning. 

I have looked through the PSNI web site news pages and there are no recent reports of any brothel raids or other action being taken under the Act. I updated the number of WGs advertising on the Internet in March and up till then there had been no reduction in the numbers advertising  and prices appeared to be stable. If anything, the numbers advertising increased slightly but there is a lot of variability in the month-to-month figures so I would not like to put too much weight on this. I will update the figures agian in June - one year after the Act came into force - but my tentative conclusion is that the Act has had no effect on the indoor sector of the sex trade.

http://www.punternet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/38900-trend-in-northern-ireland/

You mean the act is currently not being enforced by PSNI. This is a danger parliament will face in future where laws will be passed but no means of enforcement.

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