A joint statement issued on the 13th anniversary of Pat Finucanes murder.
the Law Society (England and Wales), the Law Society of Northern Ireland and the Human Rights Committee of the Bar Council (Northern Ireland) | 12 February 2002
Today is the 13th anniversary of the murder of Belfast solicitor Patrick Finucane. On this day, we renew our calls to the Government of the United Kingdom to hold, without further delay, an independent public judicial inquiry into the full circumstances of his killing, including into the question of any state collusion in his death.
Previous and on-going investigations into Patrick Finucane’s murder have failed to provide answers to the evidence which has emerged over the last 13 years and which suggest official involvement. We believe it is of the utmost importance that the Government act now. William Stobie, a key witness, was murdered in December 2001 and vital evidence has already disappeared.
We wish to remind the Government that it has obligations in national and international law to investigate this case thoroughly and impartially, including under the United Nations Principles on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions (1989), Article 11 of which states;
"In cases in which the established investigative procedures are inadequate because of lack of expertise or impartiality, because of the importance of the matter or because of the apparent existence of a pattern of abuse, and in cases where there are complaints from the family of the victim about these inadequacies or other substantial reasons, Governments shall pursue investigations through an independent commission of inquiry or similar procedure. Members of such a commission shall be chosen for their recognized impartiality, competence and independence as individuals. In particular, they shall be independent of any institution, agency or person that may be the subject of the inquiry. The commission shall have the authority to obtain all information necessary to the inquiry and shall conduct the inquiry as provided for under these Principles."