There is news today in the Belfast Telegraph that the Attorney General in Northern Ireland, John Larkin, is sticking his nose into Austrian equality legislation.
The issue is because X and others v Austria is up before the European Court of Human Rights over the issue of gay couples being able to adopt. He as asked the ECHR to pay heed to the way these matters are handled in Northern Ireland before making any final decision on the basis of the Austrian evidence. In his submission handed to the Court in June he argues:
“Any decision made by the ECHR in relation to the application in X and Others v Austria will have a significant influence on the outcome of any future litigation within Northern Ireland on the issues raised.”
He urges that because there is litigation pending in Northern Ireland that the deliberations over Austria could have adverse effects here.
As we have blogged earlier there was a deliberate omission in Northern Irish law which hasn’t even been very well thought out or disguised, where a gay single person can adopt but one in a stable relationship cannot because of the way UK law was adapted here. As the Belfast Telegraph point out the litigation currently progressing in Northern Ireland relates to the natural mother of a child and her same-sex partner seeking to adopt that child as part of their relationship. When before the House of Lords this was apparently an inadvertent slip, yet surely this is not what the Attorney General is wanting to maintain.
Of course not, he has since said that the outright ban that the House of Lords considered to be illegal, wasn’t inadvertent but a deliberate intention of the executive. Somehow despite this it is still in place and actually now our Attorney General is seeking to have such an illegal ban exported to the rest of Europe.