Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Good results in Dublin

The judgement for D (a minor) vs Judge Brennan and others isn't on the Courts Service Judgements site yet but:
(Mr Justice Liam McKechnie, in the High Court,) said (Miss D) had got devastating news about the health of the baby she was carrying when she went for a scan at 16 weeks’ pregnant and had made a sound moral judgment.

She could, Mr Justice Mc Kechnie said, have stayed mute and travelled, or she could have committed perjury by claiming she had suicidal tendencies. Miss D, he said, was determined to seek a resolution. She had shown courage and determination.

The decision of the court that she can travel to Britain for an abortion, the judge reminded the courtroom, is not the end of Miss D’s ordeal.
Vivian Kilfeather, the Examiner
The case was about the right to travel rather than the rights of the unborn child, and only totalitarian regimes prevented freedom of movement for their citizens.
News in Brief, The Times


The previous day in a quite different matter the Supreme Court gave a 5-0 decision in Competition Authority vs O'Regan & others. I'm not usually one to follow competition law but this one has a personal interest. The judgement is quite dense so I'll rely on the media to tell the story:
Finding in favour of the (Irish League of Credit Unions), the Supreme Court has completely vindicated the position adopted by the ILCU to vigorously defend the proceedings instituted against it by the Competition Authority which had claimed that it had abused its dominant market position.
The ILCU, however, has expressed dissatisfaction at the original decision of the Competition Authority to pursue this matter, at considerable expense to the tax payer, despite the ILCU's offers to stay matters subject to the outcome of discussions regarding its Savings Protection Scheme with the Financial Regulator.
The case arose after the authority brought proceedings against the Irish League of Credit Unions when the league proposed in 2003 to disaffiliate or expel credit unions that sought loan protection and life savings insurance from outlets other than through the ECCU Life Assurance Company Ltd, a company controlled by the league.

Credit unions that did not take out this insurance cover with ECCU faced loss of access to the league's savings protection scheme (SPS). The SPS is worth up to €90 million and provides maximum compensation of some €12,700 to individual members where a credit union experiences financial difficulties. The league's SPS is the only such scheme in the State.
In the Supreme Court judgment, Mr Justice Fennelly said an essential precondition to the case for the Competition Authority was a finding that credit union representation services and SPS be considered as distinct products in different relevant product markets. If they were not, issues relating to whether the league enjoyed, or abused, a dominant position in the market for either of those services, especially SPS, did not arise.

The judge said he had reached the clear conclusion that SPS was not a distinct product and that the authority had also failed to show SPS was in a separate product market. It had been shown that not only did no such service exist on the insurance market, no insurer was willing to provide it.
FinFacts Ireland
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