Belfast Telegraph

Judge raps needless cases that clog courts

By Alan Erwin

A senior judge has lambasted some legal challenges for "clogging up" High Court time in Belfast.

Mr Justice Weir described one case brought over child maintenance payments as being "just a fee-gathering exercise".

In one legal challenge he dealt with, a father was contesting an assessment of his liabilities made by the Child Maintenance Service. The dispute was said to involve a figure of £18 a week.

As the case was called, Mr Justice Weir said: "I'm absolutely astonished people should be coming here to invoke judicial review proceedings in cases of this type. This is just a fee-gathering exercise."

Despite protestations by counsel on behalf of the applicant, the judge described preliminary written arguments as being "not good for my blood pressure".

He questioned whether the dispute could not be resolved another way, suggesting an approach to an Ombudsman as one possibility.

"To commence judicial review proceedings to sort out something of this sort seems to me to be extreme overkill," Mr Justice Weir added.

Belfast Telegraph

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