NI: Bid to overturn sex purchase law in ‘uncharted waters’

Ciarán Moynagh
Ciarán Moynagh

A legal challenge to the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Criminal Justice and Support for Victims) Act (Northern Ireland) 2015 was adjourned until Tuesday 26 April at a hearing in Belfast this morning.

Sex workers’ rights advocate Laura Lee has applied for a judicial review in a bid to overturn provisions that criminalise the purchase of sexual services.

The Department of Justice was named as the respondent.

The adjournment will allow all parties “to consider and ensure all the relevant parties are involved who should be involved”, said solicitor Ciarán Moynagh of McLernon Moynagh Solicitors.

Mr Moynagh told Irish Legal News: “It was agreed that the relevant notices would issue from the Court and papers would be served on the Assembly.”

He said he was “keen for this matter to progress”, but added: “We are in uncharted waters with the challenge of a Private Members Bill so we all need to ensure key elements of the case are properly considered.

“It is hoped a short review on the next occasion will clarify who should be involved and that will allow the leave hearing to proceed.”

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