Judge concludes the Minister's decision is infected with apparent bias

08 January 2015

Judge concludes that the impugned decision of the Minister when declining to lift the lifetime ban on 'gay' blood donations [MSM] was biased

In what has become known as the "Gay Blood Case", the Court of Appeal are due to hear Appeals from the decision of the High Court at first instance, commencing 19th January 2015. At an earlier Review, the Court of Appeal remitted the "apparent bias" element of the appeal to the original High Court Judge on the basis that he had previously decided that it was not necessary to reach a decision on the ground of apparent bias by reason of the other findings in the case, and that as this was now a feature of the Appeal, it was desirable to have the Judge's view on the matter.

The Northern Ireland High Court has today ruled that the various circumstances, including the Minister's Assembly comments in 2013, and his previous opposition to gay rights legislation , would lead a fair minded and informed observer to conclude that there was a real possibility that Minister Poots' decision was biased.

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