Permission to appeal

Permission to appeal decision

27 July 2017

The Supreme Court has today announced its decision on the following permission to appeal applications. This decision was made by a panel of three Supreme Court Justices following a review of the relevant written submissions.

In the matter of an application by Geraldine Finucane for Judicial Review (Northern Ireland) UKSC 2017/0058

On appeal from the Court of Appeal Civil Division (Northern Ireland)

Permission to appeal has been granted in this case relating to a decision by the Government to hold a review, rather than a public inquiry, into the murder of solicitor Patrick Finucane at his home in North Belfast by an illegal paramilitary group on 12 February 1989.

The appellant was the wife of Patrick Finucane. It is alleged that the State colluded in the murder by using its agents to deliberately manipulate loyalist paramilitaries so that they targeted suspected republican terrorists. In 2001 the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland announced that a judge would be appointed to undertake an investigation into the allegations. In 2010 a new Government was elected and a decision was taken to conduct a review into the circumstances of the murder rather than a public inquiry.

The appellant challenged this decision arguing that the decision-making process had been pre-determined and the promise made to her that a public inquiry would be held had been unlawfully frustrated. The appellant also questions whether the decision is compatible with Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Supreme Court has granted permission to appeal and a hearing will be scheduled in due course.

The Court of Appeal judgment being appealed is available here: