NI: Lord Chief Justice suggests moving forward with Troubles inquests
The Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland, Sir Declan Morgan, has said long-delayed inquests linked to the Troubles should go ahead with all available evidence.
Sir Declan, who is also president of the Coroners’ Courts, said legacy cases delayed due to outstanding evidence, disclosure and redaction issues, or missing witnesses should go ahead on the available evidence, reports the Belfast Telegraph.
He had already announced his intention to appoint Lord Justice Weir to review the legacy cases and hold preliminary hearings in January.
At a meeting with the Victims and Survivors Forum, Sir Declan reportedly explained: “This would by no means be ideal, but it reflects the fact that 22 of the 54 cases are now over 40 years old.
“The stark reality is that, with the passage of time, some witnesses might never be located or they may have died by the time a case comes to be heard.
“It would not be in the interests of justice, I would have thought, to allow such cases to with on the vine.”
He also told the meeting that the Historical Investigations Unit (HIU) proposed in the Stormont House Agreement would not commence operations until at least October 2016.