KRW Law statement on Stephen Hamilton

Chris Doran, KRW Law



Musician Stephen Hamilton has successfully challenged the lawfulness and proportionality of Regulation 4A(1)© of The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No.2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 which effectively imposed a blanket ban on live music throughout Northern Ireland.


Mr Hamilton’s ability to earn a living was seriously affected already by the pandemic and ensuing restrictions. The Government’s decision to place a further restriction on entertainers/ musicians by banning live music compounded his difficulties.


Before Christmas he instructed us to send pre action correspondence challenging the legislation which prohibits live music in licensed premises and seeking a monetary remedy under Section 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998 for loss of income arising from the effect of the Regulations.


The Departmental Solicitors Office have now confirmed 4A has been rescinded and self-employed musicians and entertainers who received at least 50% of their income from licenced premises are eligible for part B of The Coronavirus Business Support Scheme.


Speaking today Stephen Hamilton said,


“This is good news, it’s a step in the right direction for our industry. I felt musicians were neglected and forgotten about.”


Chris Doran of KRW LAW added,


“This result benefits every musician and entertainer in the country. The entertainment industry plays a massive part in our culture and wellbeing and that is something which I feel has been overlooked in the midst of this crisis.


We accept of course that all steps have to be taken to ensure public safety but the legislation banning live music was disproportionate. We commend the Department of Health acting swiftly to strike out the ban and endorse some much-needed financial support.”


Nathan Carter:


“It’s great news that the ban on live music has been removed, it means that Stevie and every other musician can get back doing some work when restrictions ease, the funding is also a welcome boost for musicians and entertainers across the country who make their living providing a service to pubs/hotels”