PRESS RELEASE – Judicial Review of PSNI Independence in legacy cases- Case of Jean Smyth
5th September 2016
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Press Release: Response to comments today by the LCJ regarding delay in Legacy Inquests

Re: Opening of the Legal Year Address by Lord Chief Justice

Facts:

The Lord Chief Justice today expressed his ‘disappointment’ that a political resolution will be required on an overall legacy package before the resources required for legacy inquests will be released and that the Department of Justice has yet to complete the costing for a full package of measures for dealing with the past.

Statement:

‘We represent 35 families in relation to outstanding legacy inquests, including the Ballymurphy Massacre families and the Kelly’s Bar campaign families.

In our view the British Government has breached its obligations pursuant to the Human Rights Act 1998 by failing to ensure that the Article 2 compliant inquests into these deaths have commenced and concluded promptly.

Our clients share the disappointment expressed by the Lord Chief Justice today that the resources he identified seven months ago to complete these legacy inquests have not yet been released.

These families believe that that these outstanding legacy inquests must be held without delay, with sufficient resources and funding provided to the Coroner and the families legal representatives to ensure that all of the facts are known.

 In the last number of weeks and months some family members and key witnesses have passed away.  

We are currently advising all our clients in relation to a potential legal challenge of the continuing systemic delays in progressing legacy inquests.

Representatives from our office and/or members of families involved in outstanding legacy inquests will be available for comment.

 

O’Muirigh Solicitors

5th September 2016

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