British Secretary of State Paul Murphy makes announcement on Hamill, Nelson and Wright Inquiries
PFC | 16 November 2004
Below is an Northern Ireland Office press release issued earlier today. The PFC has not yet formed a view on the adequacy of the terms of reference or the acceptability of the members as proposed. This will, to an extent, be determined by the views of the families.
The Secretary of State, Paul Murphy, announced today the terms of reference and panel members for the inquiries into the deaths of Robert Hamill, Billy Wright and Rosemary Nelson.
In a Written Statement in Parliament, Paul Murphy said: “On 1 April this year, I published Justice Cory’s reports into allegations of State collusion in four murders in Northern Ireland. In doing so, I confirmed my intention to establish inquiries into the deaths of Robert Hamill, Billy Wright and Rosemary Nelson.
“I am pleased to be able to confirm today both the identities of the inquiry panels and the inquiries’ terms of reference.
“In each case, the panels will be chaired by a judge and will include both a member with specialist expertise and a lay member. The terms of reference have been deliberately drawn to allow the inquiries to consider both the allegations of collusion that have been made in these cases and also the issue of possible negligence.
“The Robert Hamill inquiry will be chaired by Sir Edwin Jowitt, a retired member of the High Court of England & Wales. He will be joined on the inquiry panel by Sir John Evans (former Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall) and Reverend Baroness (Kathleen) Richardson of Calow (former Moderator of the Free Churches’ Council of England & Wales). The inquiry will be held under section 44 of the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 1998. Its terms of reference will be:
‘To inquire into the death of Robert Hamill with a view to determining whether any wrongful act or omission by or within the Royal Ulster Constabulary facilitated his death or obstructed the investigation of it, or whether attempts were made to do so; whether any such act or omission was intentional or negligent; whether the investigation of his death was carried out with due diligence; and to make recommendations’.
“The Billy Wright inquiry will be chaired by the Right Honourable Lord (Ranald) MacLean of the Court of Session in Scotland. He will be supported in this role by Professor Andrew Coyle (Director of the International Centre for Prisons Studies at King’s College, London) and the Right Reverend John Oliver (retired diocesan Bishop of Hereford). The inquiry will be held under section 7 of the Prison Act (Northern Ireland) 1953. Its terms of reference will be:
‘To inquire into the death of Billy Wright with a view to determining whether any wrongful act or omission by or within the prison authorities or other state agencies facilitated his death, or whether attempts were made to do so; whether any such act or omission was intentional or negligent; and to make recommendations.’
“The Rosemary Nelson inquiry will be chaired by Sir Michael Morland, a retired member of the High Court of England & Wales. The other panel members will be Sir Anthony Burden (former Chief Constable of South Wales Police) and Dame Valerie Strachan (Vice Chair of the Big Lottery Fund and former Chairman of the Board of Customs and Excise). The inquiry will be held under section 44 of the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 1998. Its terms of reference will be:
‘To inquire into the death of Rosemary Nelson with a view to determining whether any wrongful act or omission by or within the Royal Ulster Constabulary or Northern Ireland Office facilitated her death or obstructed the investigation of it, or whether attempts were made to do so; whether any such act or omission was intentional or negligent; whether the investigation of her death was carried out with due diligence; and to make recommendations.’
“As I said in my statement of 8th July, all three inquiries will have full powers to compel disclosure of documents and attendance of witnesses.
“The inquiries will start work as soon as possible.”
Notes to Editors
Initial contact details for each inquiry are as follows:
Robert Hamill Inquiry:
email - firstname.lastname@example.org
PO Box 50156
London SW1E 6WX
Billy Wright Inquiry:
email - email@example.com
PO Box 50158
London SW1E 6WU
Rosemary Nelson Inquiry:
email - firstname.lastname@example.org
PO Box 50157
London SW1E 6WW
The biographical details of each of the inquiry panel members are:
Robert Hamill Inquiry
Sir Edwin Jowitt (Inquiry chairman) was a Justice of the High Court, Queen’s Bench Division, from 1988 to 2000. During this period he served as the presiding Judge of the Midland and Oxford Circuit, as a Senior Circuit Judge and as Honorary Recorder of Birmingham. Before this he was a Circuit Judge and a Recorder of the Crown Court.
Sir John Evans is currently an advisor to the Football Association and others on security matters. He was Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Constabulary between 1989 and 2002, during which time he was also President of the Association of Chief Police Officers. Prior to that, he was Deputy Chief Constable of Surrey, Assistant Chief Constable in the Greater Manchester Police and began his service in Liverpool City then Merseyside. In addition to his consultancy service, he is currently involved in a number of committees and schemes, including both Devon and Cornwall Victims Support Schemes, of which he is President.
Reverend Baroness (Kathleen) Richardson of Calow is currently the Moderator of the Churches’ Commission for Inter Faith Relations. She was the Moderator of the Free Churches’ Council of England & Wales and the President of Churches Together in England between 1995 and 1999. She was previously the President of the Methodist Conference and the Chairwoman of West Yorkshire District from 1987. Before this she was a Methodist minister in Denby Dale and Clayton West Circuit.
Billy Wright Inquiry
The Rt Hon Lord (Ranald) MacLean (Inquiry chairman) has been a Senator of the College of Justice in Scotland since 1990. During this time he has worked for the Parole Board for Scotland and the Scottish Judicial Appointments Board, chaired the Committee on Serious Violent and Sexual Offenders and sat on the Independent Review Commission on Scottish Football. He was one of the three judges who presided over the Lockerbie trial at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands. He was previously a member of the Scottish Legal Aid Board, of the Council on Tribunals and of the Stewart Committee on Alternatives to Prosecution.
Professor Andrew Coyle has, since 1997, been the Director of the International Centre for Prison at King’s College, University of London. He has held a number of positions in the Scottish Prison Service and the Prison Service of England and Wales, including serving as the Governor of four prisons: Brixton, Shotts, Peterhead, and Greenock. Professor Coyle was a specialist advisor on prison issues to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee between 2000 and 2001. He has visited, advised and lectured on prison systems in numerous countries and has published widely on the subject.
The Rt Rev John Oliver was Bishop of Hereford from 1990 to 2003. In that capacity he chaired both the Advisory Board of Ministry and the local Unity Committee and was the Anglican representative in an ecumenical delegation that travelled to meet faith community leaders in the former Yugoslavia during the Balkan conflict. Before that, he served as Archdeacon of Sherborne, Team Rector of the Parishes of Central Exeter and of the South Molton Group of Parishes in Devon, as well as serving as Chaplain and Assistant Master of Eton College.
Rosemary Nelson Inquiry
Sir Michael Morland (Inquiry chairman) served as a Judge of the High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division, between 1989 and 2004, having served as a Recorder since 1972. During this time he served as the presiding judge of the Northern Circuit and as a member of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (1980-1989). In 1980, he chaired the inquiry into the death of four-year old Paul Brown, set up by the Department of Health and Social Security. He has had direct experience of Northern Ireland during his career – he was a member of the 1974 Gardiner Commission on internment and he acted for the Crown in 1973 in internment proceedings.
[For access to the Gardiner Report see the CAIN website at http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/hmso/gardiner.htm]
Sir Anthony Burden was the Chief Constable of South Wales Police from 1996 to 2003, during which time he served for a year as President of the Association of Chief Police Officers. Previously he served as the Chief Constable of Gwent Constabulary and Assistant then Deputy Chief Constable of West Mercia Constabulary.
Dame Valerie Strachan has been the Deputy Chair of the Community Fund and then Vice Chair of the Big Lottery Fund since 2000. From 2000 until 2002, she assisted Sir Andrew Leggatt on the Review of Tribunals. She was the Deputy Chairman then Chairman of the Board of Customs and Excise from 1987 to 2000. Before this she was the Head of HM Treasury/Cabinet Office Joint Management Unit from 1985 to 1987.