“This morning at the High Court in Belfast DUP Councillor Paul Berry MLA successfully won an injunction against the Party Officers of the Ulster Democratic Unionist Party.
Upon hearing submissions from his lawyers, Madden & Finucane, Mr Justice Weir ordered that the Defendants be restrained from conducting or continuing with any disciplinary proceedings until they comply with the Rules of their own Party and with the Rules of Natural Justice.
The DUP Disciplinary Panel had refused requests by Madden & Finucane to adjourn a hearing on Monday 14th November 2005 at Party Headquarters until they had a number of basic questions answered by the Party.
In addition, the High Court ordered that the DUP:
(i) Specify the breach of discipline or practice alleged against Mr Berry;
(ii) Confirm that Mr Berry will be afforded a proper opportunity to be heard and to meet the case against him;
(iii) Clarify the status, composition and power of the disciplinary panel, including the party rule under which it has been convened together with its remit.
(iv) Set out the evidence to be relied upon at the proposed hearing.”
After the court hearing, Mr Berry said:
“Commencing Legal Proceedings was not something that I wanted to do. All I want to do is to ensure that the hearing I receive is fair, legal and comes to a just outcome. Acting on my behalf, my lawyers asked for answers to some basic questions to be provided by the Party. Madden & Finucane also asked for confirmation that they will be able to properly represent me in the disciplinary process, in accordance with the rules of natural justice. To date these issues have not been addressed in a satisfactory manner. I think that Mr Justice Weir’s Ruling this morning is something that should be studied by everyone concerned. I have a strategy in place and I am continuing to implement that strategy.”