Dublin, 27 February 2019
The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) has welcomed this morning’s UK Supreme Court decision, which found that there has been no effective investigation into the murder of Pat Finucane. We join the Finucane family in calling for a full and public inquiry, in order to vindicate their rights to truth and justice.
ICCL director Liam Herrrick said:
“The collusion of state actors in the assassination of a lawyer is a serious threat to justice and the entire democratic system and remains so as long as a proper investigation remains pending.
Pat Finucane’s family have the right to have a full and detailed investigation into his murder, and to know the extent of State collusion and what individual security officers were involved in that murder. In keeping with our long standing position, we are calling on the British government to fulfill its obligations to the family, and to the wider public, through a full and public inquiry.”
An effective investigation is required by Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Supreme Court today said that, thus far, this requirement had not been met and that it would be up to the British government to decide “what form of investigation” is required into the assassination of Mr. Finucane.
A previous inquiry found that “agents of the state were involved in carrying out serious violation of human rights up to and including murder”. The Supreme Court said today that, because no individual suspects have been identified or held accountable, Article 2 requirements have not been met.
The Court’s Declaration underlines the need for a more comprehensive approach to transitional justice issues in Northern Ireland. There are a number of other cases in which the rights of victims and their families to truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence have not been met. A rights-compliant approach to transitional justice in Northern Ireland is long overdue and necessary.
Throughout the peace process ICCL and our colleagues in Northern Ireland have consistently argued that the vindication of human rights is an essential foundation for peace on this island. We continue to call for the full and equal respect of all rights for everyone on the island of Ireland, particularly in the context of the potential impact of Brexit.