NI: Review of outstanding Troubles cases begins

Lord Justice Weir
Lord Justice Weir

Lord Justice Weir, the presiding judge of the Coroners’ Service, has begun his two-week review of more than 56 legacy cases relating to the Troubles.

Legal teams for 97 people who were killed during the conflict will make representation to Lord Weir on the issues which are outstanding in each of their cases.

The review is expected to identify those inquests which are ready to proceed, for which a coroner will be appointed once the review is over.

In cases which are not ready to proceed, relevant parties will be instructed to provide the outstanding material required for an inquest to take place at a later date.

The review was announced last year by the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland, Sir Declan Morgan, who said long-delayed inquests should go ahead with all available evidence.

Almost 40 per cent of the cases under review are over 40 years old.

Fearghal Shiels of Madden & Finucane Solicitors told the Irish News that further delays could be prevented if more resources are put into the inquest system.

Mr Shiels said: “We will be submitting to the court that the Coroners’ Service should seek and obtain assurances that an appropriate level of resources will be applied to these cases by the PSNI and Department of Justice.

“ sufficient to ensure that there is compliance with the requirements under the European Court of Human Rights for reasonable expedition in the progression of these inquests, some of which have already been the subject of outrageous delay.”

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