Law students from Northern Ireland have won their case in the Irish Republic. The high court in Dublin ruled after a complex two-month case that the Law Society in the Republic has been discriminating against law students in Ulster.
Thirty-five students from Queen's University Belfast brought the case against the society, the attorney general and the state, arguing that the requirement in the society rules obliging them to take an additional eight examinations before being admitted to train as solicitors was discrimination.
Justice Mary Laffoy ruled the students had been discriminated against under European Union law.
The current regulations meant that Queen's and the University of Ulster graduates had to pass in up to eight core law subjects which they could have already studied, while entry to the four-month professional course in the Republic was virtually automatic for law students from the south.
It is now up to the law society to decide whether to change its regulations or not. The judge also awarded costs against the students.