Doug Beattie: Perceptions of bias are a fact of life in N Ireland
Mr Justice McCloskey's decision to step aside from the case relating to the report on the Loughinisland massacre, even though the legal test has not been satisfied, raises serious questions for the administration of justice in Northern Ireland.
The issue arose because he had previously been involved in a similar case against the Police Ombudsman’s office in 2002 and as a result, it was argued that there was a potential public perception of bias.
We live in a country that still has deep divisions and allegations and perceptions of bias are an inevitable fact of life.
The fact that Barra McGrory previously represented senior Sinn Fein figures proved no barrier to his later appointment as Director of Public Prosecutions and indeed he is now representing the Ombudsman in the very case from which Mr Justice McCloskey has just recused himself.
‘Squalid revisionism’ of Sinn Fein’s Garrison branch condemned
West Belfast Festival: Another key Feile an Phobail funder stresses need to foster ‘good relations’ as it seeks meeting over 2022 Wolfe Tones chant
DUP income drops to an 11-year low putting the party behind the Ulster Unionists – and far in the shadow of Sinn Fein
Liz Truss declines to commit to passing the Northern Ireland Protocol bill in full; Sunak pledges to stand up to EU over NI
Cliftonville FC stonewalls questions after Ronan Hale pictured with arm around player wearing republican rifle slogan
Many people will be forgiven for asking why the perception of bias in our legal system only seems to apply to those who have previously acted for the police and not to those who have previously acted for republicans.
Doug Beattie MC MLA, Ulster Unionist justice spokesperson