That-was-the-week-150x150In Belfast two Irish republicans were found liable for the Omagh bombing. The appellants, relatives of victims of the bombing, set out a case of “compelling circumstantial evidence” that showed mobile phones registered to one of the defendants were used in the bombing. Neither of the defendants gave evidence or called any witnesses, and previous explanations of the use of the phones in Omagh on the day of the bombing were held to be implausible and amount to lies. The appellants are claiming aggravated and exemplary damages for trespass to the person. Nobody has ever been successfully prosecuted in the criminal courts for the bombing.

A date was set for the Scottish independence referendum. The question was confirmed as “Should Scotland be an independent country? Yes/No” and the date was announced as 18 September 2014.

An attempt to judicially review Transport for London’s decision to not allow an advertisement by Anglican Mainstream to appear on its buses failed. The advert suggested that gay people could change their sexuality – the slogan read “Not Gay! Ex-Gay, Post-Gay and Proud. Get over it!”. TfL refused to carry the ad as it was “likely to cause widespread or serious offence to members of the public”. The Admin Court held that although TfL’s decision-making process was procedurally unfair and in breach of its own procedures, the inconsistent application of the advertising policy was outweighed by countervailing factors. These included the ECHR art 8 rights of others, TfL’s duties under the Equality Act 2010 and the existence of alternative ways for the Trust to express its views.

The B&B owners who broke equality laws when they refused to let a gay couple stay in a double room changed the legal status of their guesthouse to that of a not-for-profit organisation. The guesthouse is now being turned into a “respite care centre” for Christians, following advice from the Christian Institute that would allow the B&B to continue to turn away same-sex couples. One of the owners was quoted in the Daily Mail:

“We are not fanatics. We have often been portrayed as being bigoted.

“I am not homophobic. I have no problem with them – I have always thought of them as people and enjoy their company. It is just that we thought it would be wrong for here.”