Finucane Family file Judicial Review Proceedings in Belfast High Court

12 January 2004

On Monday (12 January 04) Judge Cory, the Canadian judge who investigated allegations of collusion, contacted the families and/or legal teams of Pat Finucane, Rosemary Nelson, Robert Hamill and Billy Wright to inform them that he had recommended public inquiries in all four cases.To date the British government has refused to release Judge Cory's findings and recommendations despite a commitment to do so.
Judge Cory's recommendations to the Irish government which were released in December. The Finucane family welcomed the fact that Judge Cory had kept faith with the families in a situation where Prime Minister Tony Blair had failed to do so.

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE IN NORTHERN IRELAND

QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION (JUDICIAL REVIEW)

IN THE MATTER OF AN APPLICATION BY GERALDINE FINUCANE FOR LEAVE TO APPLY FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW AND IN THE MATTER OF DECISIONS OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR NORTHERN IRELAND

I Peter Madden, solicitor, of Madden & Finucane, Solicitors, 88 Castle Street, Belfast BT1 1HE, aged eighteen years and upwards make oath and say as follows:

  1. I am a partner in the above named law firm with carriage of the applicant's case. I am duly authorised to file this affidavit on her behalf.

  2. The applicant's husband, Patrick Finucane, was murdered on 12th February 1989. The Ulster Freedom Fighters subsequently claimed responsibility for the murder.

  3. On 1st July 2003 the European Court of Human Rights delivered judgment in the applicant's case against the United Kingdom in respect of the investigation into her husband's murder. I beg to refer to a copy of said judgment attached hereto and marked with my initials "PM1"

  4. On 24th October 2001, as a result of the multi-party talks in Weston Park, the government announced in Parliament that a judge of international standing would be appointed to investigate allegations of security force collusion in loyalist paramilitary killings, including that of Patrick Finucane, with a view to recommending whether or not public inquiries should be held into any of the killings. I beg to refer to a copy of the Weston Park proposals attached hereto and upon which I have marked my initials "PM2"

  5. Appointment of the former Canadian Supreme Court judge Justice Peter Cory was announced by the government on May 29 2002. I beg to refer to a copy of his terms of reference attached hereto and upon which I have marked my initials "PM3"

  6. He delivered his report into the killing of Patrick Finucane to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on 7th October 2003. The other three reports into the deaths of Rosemary Nelson, Robert Hamill and Billy Wright were also delivered to the Secretary of State at this time. On the same day Judge Cory delivered his reports into the murders of Chief Superintendent Breen and Superintendent Buchanan and Lord Justice and Lady Gibson to the Irish Government.

  7. On 1st December 2003 I wrote to the Secretary of State requesting, inter alia, publication of the report. I beg to refer to a copy of said letter and the reply received attached hereto and upon which I have marked my initials "PM4"

  8. On 18th December 2003 the Irish government published the reports concerning the murders of Chief Superintendent Breen and Superintendent Buchanan and Lord Justice and Lady Gibson and announced its intention to hold, as recommended, a public inquiry into the former case.

Save as where otherwise appears I depose to the foregoing from my own personal knowledge and belief

Sworn at 
in the County of 
this day of 2004
Before me a Solicitor Empowered to 
Administer Oaths in Northern Ireland

This Affidavit is filed on behalf of the Applicant by Madden & Finucane, Solicitors, 88 Castle Street, Belfast, BT1 1HE

 

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE IN NORTHERN IRELAND

QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION (JUDICIAL REVIEW)

IN THE MATTER OF AN APPLICATION BY GERALDINE FINUCANE FOR LEAVE TO APPLY FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW AND IN THE MATTER OF A DECISIONS OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR NORTHERN IRELAND

ORDER 53 STATEMENT

1. The applicant is Geraldine Finucane, c/o Madden & Finucane, Solicitors, 88 Castle Street, Belfast BT1 1HE

2. The applicant seeks the following relief

a) An order of mandamus compelling the Secretary of State to publish the Cory collusion inquiry report into the murder of her husband, Patrick Finucane;

b) An order of mandamus compelling the Secretary of State to indicate publicly the recommendation of the Cory collusion inquiry report into the murder of her husband, Patrick Finucane;

c) An order of mandamus compelling the Secretary of State to inform the applicant of the recommendation of the Cory collusion inquiry report into the murder of her husband, Patrick Finucane;

d) A declaration that the applicant is entitled to a copy of/access to the report;

e) A declaration that the application is entitled to be informed of the report's recommendation;

f) Such further and other relief as the court may deem appropriate;

g) Leave on the papers without the need for an inter partes leave hearing since the papers clearly disclose an arguable case for judicial review and an inter partes hearing would clearly lead to more delay and expense;

h) An expedited hearing;

i) Costs.

3. The grounds upon which the said relief is sought are

a) The government made a commitment to publish the report;

b) In failing to publish the report the Secretary of State is acting in breach of the applicant's rights pursuant to Article 2 of the Convention and in breach of section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998;

c) In failing to publicise the report's recommendation the Secretary of State is acting in breach of the applicant's rights pursuant to Article 2 of the Convention and in breach of section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998;

d) In failing to inform the applicant of the report's recommendation the Secretary of State is acting in breach of the applicant's rights pursuant to Article 2 of the Convention and in breach of section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998;

e) The applicant had a legitimate expectation that once the report was delivered to the government

          i. It would be published without any or undue delay;

          ii. Judge Cory's recommendation would be publicised without any or undue delay;

          iii. She would be informed of Judge Cory's recommendation without any or undue delay;

f) There has been undue delay in

i. The publication of the report;

ii. The publication of the report's recommendation;

iii. Informing the applicant of the report's recommendation;

g) Judge Cory has said in his report on the murders of Chief Superintendent Breen and Superintendent Buchanan

2.167 This case, like that of Finucane, Hamill, Wright, Nelson and the Gibsons was specifically selected as one of those to be reviewed to determine if there was collusion and, if so, to direct a public inquiry. In light of this provision in the original agreement failure to hold such an inquiry as quickly as possible might be thought to be a denial of the original agreement, which appears to have been an important and integral part of the peace process. The failure to do so could be seen as a cynical breach of faith which could have unfortunate consequences for the Peace Accord.

h) The Secretary of State's decision to withhold publication of the report is unfair, unreasonable and unlawful

i) The Secretary of State's decision to withhold publication of the recommendation is unfair, unreasonable and unlawful

j) The Secretary of State's failure to inform the applicant of Judge Cory's recommendation is unfair, unreasonable and unlawful

Dated this day of January 2004

Signed…………………………

Madden & Finucane, 
Solicitors for the applicant
88 Castle Street
Belfast BT1 1HE