Statement from the Law Society of England and Wales
Law Society of England and Wales | 23 September 2004
Public inquiry into murder of solicitor must finally uncover truth says Law Society
The Law Society is pleased that the British Government has finally agreed to set-up an independent inquiry into the death of solicitor Patrick Finucane. However, the Society is gravely concerned that the inquiry will be held under proposed legislation which may prevent the full disclosure of findings. In addition, the inquiry is being delayed yet again while this new legislation is introduced.
For the past nine years the Law Society of England and Wales has campaigned for a public inquiry into allegations of state collusion in the murder of the Belfast solicitor in 1989.
On 20 September, Edward Nally, President of the Law Society of England and Wales, wrote to the Prime Minister urging him to order a public inquiry.
Mr Nally believes the case deserves special treatment because of its impact on the administration of justice; "The Law Society has long-campaigned for an independent inquiry into the death of Mr Finucance. There has been a plethora of investigations and reports into the murder that have produced a growing body of evidence of official collusion. It is a fundamental principle that solicitors must be able to advise their clients without fear or interference.
"This inquiry should be held straight away under existing legislation. We are tired of successive governments' refusal to allow the truth about Patrick Finucane's murder to be known."
The Law Society regulates and represents the solicitors' profession in England and Wales and has a public interest role in working for reform of the law. Solicitors in Scotland and Northern Ireland are represented by the Law Societies in Scotland and Northern Ireland respectively.
For more information call the Law Society Press Office on 020 7320 5884