Challenge to UK Government/DUP deal for breaking Good Friday Agreement

by Ciaran McClean

Challenge to UK Government/DUP deal for breaking Good Friday Agreement

by Ciaran McClean
Ciaran McClean
I am a mental health worker and Green Party member in Northern Ireland, married with 3 children. I have campaigned for peace in Northern Ireland most of my life.
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Ciaran McClean
I am a mental health worker and Green Party member in Northern Ireland, married with 3 children. I have campaigned for peace in Northern Ireland most of my life.
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We have a court date in October

Sept. 8, 2017

DUP Agreement: Government faces day in Court to defend the “votes for money” agreement


The High Court has today decided that the challenge to the “votes for money” agreement between the Government and DUP must be heard initially by the Divisional Court on October 26th.  The decision that the application for permission should be heard orally by a Divisional Court is h...

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Join me in fighting this unlawful action by our Government in buying the DUP votes to keep it in power, a move that is in direct violation of its rigorous impartiality required by the Good Friday Agreement.

The Tories are being propped up by the DUP in order to cling to power after the recent election. This horrifies me. It's straight bribery – money for votes.  The deal flies in the face of the Good Friday Agreement, under which the Government is obligated to exercise its power with 'rigorous impartiality' on behalf of all the people in the diversity of their identities and traditions.  The Government is threatening hard won peace with their pact with the reactionary DUP.

I wish to hold the Government to account for their actions through the Courts in a judicial review.  My claim is that as a citizen I expect my Government to honour its obligations under the Good Friday Agreement and not to bribe others with money so that it can stay in power. My lawyers have put these points to the Government. They eventually responded failing to meet deadlines they set themselves.  Nothing they said addresses the fundamental issues behind this corrupt deal.  It means that I am pressed to issue proceedings to resolve these issues.  I need funds to meet the costs of doing so. 

The Rule of Law and our democracy are at stake in this case.  It is left to individuals like myself to assert the Rule of Law and our democracy.  If these actions go unchallenged the values we hold as democrats are greatly diminished.

We have a court date in October

Sept. 8, 2017

DUP Agreement: Government faces day in Court to defend the “votes for money” agreement


The High Court has today decided that the challenge to the “votes for money” agreement between the Government and DUP must be heard initially by the Divisional Court on October 26th.  The decision that the application for permission should be heard orally by a Divisional Court is highly unusual but the Court decided that the issues raised and their urgency called for a special hearing. The hearing is likely to take place in the next few weeks.


Edwin Coe LLP issued an application for judicial review acting on behalf of Ciaran McClean, a resident of Northern Ireland, a politician in the Green Party and a campaigner for the Good Friday Agreement, in relation to the decision by the Prime Minister to seek to enter into an agreement with the Democratic Unionist Party so that the DUP would support the Government in votes of confidence and on supply votes.


The basis of the claim is that any agreement between the Government and DUP will be in breach of the Good Friday Agreement under which the Government undertook to exercise its power in Northern Ireland “. . . with rigorous impartiality on behalf of all the people in the diversity of their identities and traditions.”  Further it is claimed that the agreement breaches the Bribery Act 2010 and is in any event unlawful as a corrupt arrangement.


David Greene, partner at Edwin Coe and who acted in the Article 50 litigation, said  “We believe the Court has concluded correctly and in accordance with our submissions that this is a matter of such constitutional importance that even the application for permission should be dealt with by a Divisional Court as was the Article 50 application.  Both we and the Government have made out our cases and nothing in the Government case dissuades us from concluding that the DUP Agreement is corrupt and very simply unlawful.”


Mr McClean said “ I am extremely happy that the Court has decided that the issues here are of such magnitude that a special court must be convened to hear what we say.  We issued the application for judicial review of the decision by Theresa May to enter into the agreement with the DUP. That agreement is, in my view, no more and no less than the purchase by the Government of votes in Parliament using public money.  It is clear to me and the thousands who have contributed to the crowdfunding on CrowdJustice that that is simply wrong and puts the Good Friday Agreement in severe danger. We crowdfunded the case and we have many supporters. They will be heartened by the Court decision and I hope others will now join us.  Crowd justice have organised the crowdfunding at www.crowdjustice.com/case/challenge-dup-deal ." 


I have already explained that I regard the deal between the DUP and the Government as a disaster for the Good Friday Agreement and I remain of the view that the Government is acting unlawfully in both breaching its obligations under that Agreement, in breaching the Bribery Act and the general law against corruption.”



Ciaran Mc Clean

We've issued proceedings

July 10, 2017

Following the overwhelming amount of support I've received so far with this crowdfunding campaign, today I instructed my lawyer to issue the application for judicial review of the decision by Theresa May to enter into the agreement with the DUP. That agreement is, in my view, no more and no less than the purchase by the Government of votes in Parliament using public money.  

My lawyers have corresponded with the Government and the response from the Government offered nothing to dissuade us from pursuing this application. My lawyers have applied that the application should be expedited and we wait now upon the Court.

Thanks to everyone who has supported me so far, we hit our initial target on the first day of launching the campaign, and have now issued legal proceedings. I am continuing to raise funds to cover the legal costs of taking this case to Court.

Ciaran.

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