Belfast Telegraph

Stormont faces court over failed strategy

By Chris Kilpatrick

The Stormont Executive is facing legal action over an alleged failure to develop an anti-poverty strategy for Northern Ireland.

Human rights watchdog Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) claims no proper blueprint has been adopted for dealing with deprivation.

The body was granted leave to seek a judicial review following a brief hearing at the High Court in Belfast yesterday.

CAJ claims the Executive has not met its legal duty to introduce a strategy based on objective need and currently has no identifiable anti-poverty plan

According to the group's lawyers, this requirement was a key element of the 2006 St Andrews Agreement, which led to the restoration of the power-sharing Assembly.

In legal papers they contend that the Northern Ireland Act of that year included an obligation on the Executive to "adopt a strategy setting out how it proposes to tackle poverty, social exclusion and patterns of deprivation based on objective need"..

A full hearing of the action is expected later in the year.

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