COURT DELIVERS “HOODED MEN” JUDGMENT
Friday 20 September 2019 | 03 October 2019
The Court of Appeal, by a majority of two to one, said it was satisfied that the treatment to which Hooded Men had been subjected to would if it occurred today properly be characterised astorture, bearing in mind that the European Convention on Human Rights is a living instrument, but that the test had not been met to enable an Article 2 or 3 procedural investigation to take place given the passage of time. The Court upheld the earlier decision to quash the PSNI’s decision not to take further steps to investigate the question of identifying and, if appropriate, prosecuting those responsible for criminal acts arising from their interrogation. It recognised howeverthat an investigation may be hampered by the antiquity of the events.
The appeal concerned applications for judicial review of the PSNI’s decision in 2014 that there was no evidence to warrant an investigation, compliant with Articles 2 and 3 of the ECHR, into the allegation that the UK Government authorised and used torture in NI in 1971. The applications also challenged decisions of the PSNI, Department of Justice and Northern Ireland Office 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 ECHR, common law and customary international law.The trial judge had dismissed the applications but declared that the PSNI’s decision not to take further steps to investigate the question of identifying and, if appropriate, prosecuting those responsible for criminal acts should be quashed. The Court of Appeal said it would deal with all the issues that had been before the trial judge.
See link below for summary judgment. Full judgment to follow