COURT DELIVERS “HOODED MEN” JUDGMENT
27 October 2017
Mr Justice Maguire, sitting today in the High Court in Belfast, quashed the PSNI’s decision not to take further steps to investigate the question of identifying and, if appropriate, prosecuting those responsible for criminal acts during the interrogation of the “hooded men”.
The proceedings were triggered by the PSNI’s decision in 2014 that there is no evidence to warrant an investigation into the allegation that the UK Government authorised the use of torture in NI in 1971. The applicants are Francis McGuigan (one of the “hooded men”) and Mary McKenna, the daughter of Sean McKenna deceased, another of the hooded men. As well as seeking a judicial review of the PSNI’s decision, the applicants also challenged decisions of the Chief Constable, the Department of Justice and the Northern Ireland Office (“the respondents”) as constituting a continuing failure to order and ensure a full, independent and effective investigation into torture at the hands of the UK Government and/or its agents in compliance with Articles 2 and 3 of the Convention, common law and customary international law.
The Court quashed the decision made on behalf of the PSNI in October 2014 not to take further steps to investigate the question of identifying and, if appropriate, prosecute those responsible for criminal acts. The Court said this means that the question should be revisited but did not prescribe how the issue should be taken forward.
The Court dismissed all other grounds of judicial review against the respondents.