NI: Brexit case listed before Belfast High Court as leapfrog appeal considered

Ciaran O’Hare

Raymond McCord’s Brexit case has been listed before Belfast High Court to determine the method of appeal and could result in it being heard directly by the UK Supreme Court.

Solicitor Ciaran O’Hare of McIvor Farrell Solicitors, who represents Mr McCord, said: “Never before has Belfast High Court permitted a case to leapfrog appeal from the Judicial Review Court to the Supreme Court in London. Normally an appeal from the Judicial Review Court is heard in the Court of Appeal.

“Given the magnitude of this case, we believe that it should proceed as a leapfrog appeal to the Supreme Court, along with the cases before the Divisional Court of England & Wales.”

Mr Justice Paul Maguire previously ruled that there was nothing to suggest the UK government could not activate Article 50 without the consent of the people of Northern Ireland.

Further, he said that parliamentary approval was not necessary to activate Article 50 as “the actual notification does not, in itself, alter the law of the UK” but merely represented “the beginning of a process which ultimately will probably lead to changes in UK law”.

In his judgment, he said: “On the day after the notice has been given, the law will in fact be the same as it was on the day before it was given. The rights of individual citizens will not have changed – though it is, of course, true that in due course the body of EU law as it applies in the UK will, very likely, become the subject of change.

“But at the point when this occurs the process necessarily will be one controlled by parliamentary legislation, as this is the mechanism for changing law in the UK.”

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