The Northern Ireland Assembly are presently considering a new Planning Bill which proposes a series of changes to the Planning (Northern Ireland) Order 1991. Clause 15 proposes to restrict the High Court’s ability to challenge decisions to grant or refuse planning permission to:

“any question of law material to the decision or determination only where the question of law raises matters of-

  1. the compatibility of the decision or determination with the Convention rights; or
  2. the compatibility of the decision or determination with EU Law.”

If enacted, and upheld by the Courts, the effect will be to prevent the Court from enforcing domestic law. That would be an unprecedented attack on the rule of law. The Bill is still to go through its Further Consideration and Final stages in the Assembly,