NI: Executive Office unlawfully stymieing implementation of Troubles pension scheme
The Executive Office is unlawfully stymieing the implementation of the legacy pension scheme for victims of the Troubles, the High Court in Belfast has ruled.
Mr Justice Gerry McAlinden handed down judgment this morning in respect of two separate judicial reviews brought by Jennifer McNern and Brian Turley.
By refusing to designate a department to administer the scheme, the judge said the Executive Office is “deliberately stymieing the implementation of the scheme in order to pressure the Secretary of State to make a different scheme”.
He added: “This is a truly shocking proposition. It demonstrates either wilful disregard for the rule of law, or abject ignorance of what the rule of law means in a democratic society.”
Solicitor Darragh Mackin of Phoenix Law, who represented Mr Turley, said: “For too long victims have anxiously awaited the implantation of the pension scheme. It is entirely unsatisfactory that despite the legislation having been enacted, they were unable to avail of the payments that were properly due to them.
“For Mr Turley, who has a previous conviction, today’s ruling bears a personal significance. He for too long has been deprived of the redress to which he is entitled to as a victim of the horrendous treatment to which he sustained at the hands of the state.”
Ms McNern was represented by Matt Higgins and Caroline Dunlop of HHD Solicitors.