A challenge taken by South Belfast businessman Sean Napier against the DUP Ministers boycott of North-South Ministerial Council meetings is to return to court on Wednesday  20 October.
At that stage affidavits will be filed on behalf of Mr Napier. A response from the DUP Ministers is expected by Tuesday afternoon next.
Speaking after today’s High Court hearing, Paul Farrell from McIvor Farrell Solicitors, who is representing Mr Napier said: “Mr Napier has taken this case on a very careful basis and it is a step by step approach that he is taking. We wanted the DUP Ministers and the DUP leadership to realise that what they were doing was unlawful and against the principles of good governance in Northern Ireland. The court went with us on that. The next stage in the process will be for us to seek a specific order from the court if that is necessary but the ball is very clearly in the court of the DUP insofar as that is concerned."
He added: “Mr Napier is determined to see this matter through so we await with interest to see what the response from the DUP leadership and Ministers are by Wednesday of next week.”
Commenting on the argument from the DUP that these meetings were in fact not scheduled as the agenda had not been approved by the First Minister, Mr Farrell described their stance as “a bit of a contortion”.
“It doesn’t have any rationale and I don’t understand that a meeting which takes place today with accompanying Ministers is not a meeting and I think that whatever we receive next week by way of a response from the DUP Ministers will have to explain that to my mind because I can’t understand when a meeting is not a meeting as the First Minister is indicating that they are.”
Mr Farrell said that the case today built up on its own momentum.
“The case goes to the heart of good governance in Northern Ireland and it goes to the heart of the DUP and their engagement with the institutions of government. It is up to them now to explain to a legal standard what they propose to do next."

If the court compels the Ministers to attend the meetings on Wednesday and they insist on continuing their boycott then the Ministers could be found in contempt of court.

If found in breach of court orders, First Minister Givan along with Ministers Middleton, McIlveen, Lyons and Poots could face up to two years in prison, a fine or both.
Earlier this week, Mr Justice Scoffield ruled that the DUP boycott of North South meetings was unlawful but said he didn't want to have to take action against ministers which would result in "a sorry spectacle"

Speaking in response to an oral question in the Assembly on Tuesday, First Minister Givan stated that he has approved a meeting on health issues and the Peace Plus programme as it related to health.
Appearing before the Executive Committee on Wednesday, the First Minister reiterated his position that no meetings had been scheduled other than the meeting involving the Health Minister, as he had not signed off on the agenda.