Northern Ireland smoking ban ‘like Third Reich’
The smoking ban in Northern Ireland is comparable to a prohibition imposed by the Third Reich in Hitler's Germany, senior judges have heard.
A north Down man seeking to quash his conviction for lighting up at council offices also claimed smokers' rights to freedom from torture were being infringed.
Opening his case in the Court of Appeal, Chris Carter (56) produced a photograph of a cancer patient he claimed was made to go outside Belfast City Hospital for a cigarette. The former security consultant, who represented himself as a personal litigant, is seeking leave to apply for a judicial review of the legislation which led to him being fined.
He was prosecuted for lighting up a cigarette at North Down Borough Council headquarters in 2007.
Under the terms of the Smoking (NI) Order 2006 he was convicted and ordered to pay a fine and costs of £1,250 in total.
Even though his application was dismissed by the High Court in June, Mr Carter was allowed to re-run his challenge in front of a three-judge panel.
After hearing submissions the judges reserved their decision on whether to grant leave to seek a judicial review.
Mr Carter was also assured that if they rule against him he will still have the right to mount an appeal before the Supreme Court.