Madden & Finucane went to the Supreme Court in London on 2 and 3 February 2011 in a judicial review challenge to decisions of the Senior Coroner and Coroner for Northern Ireland and the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland arising out of the inquest into the deaths on 9 October 1990 of Martin McCaughey and Dessie Grew, near Loughgall, County Armagh.
Fearghal Shiels of Madden & Finucane, solicitor for both next of kin said:
“This is an important case which may have implications not only for this inquest, but for approximately 16 other inquests where the death occured before the Human Rights Act came into force in October 2000. Specifically it may affect the remit of the inquest as the Chief Constable at preliminary hearings has contended for a narrow and limited remit which would not fully explore the planning and control of the operation resulting in the deaths. It also has the potential to affect the verdict available to the jury, and in particular, the extent to which the jury can pronounce not merely on matters directly causative of the death, but also on systemic or operational failiures which may have led to the deaths.”
Judgment has been reserved by a panel of seven Supreme Court Justices.
The European Court of Human Rights is currently examining other aspects of the State’s failure to investigate the deaths expeditiously.
In March 2007, the House of Lords found in favour of the next of kin, definitively ruling on the extent of the Chief Constable’s obligations on disclosure in Inquests. Click here to view the judgment.