Re Witnesses A, B, C, K and N's Application for Judicial Review

JurisdictionNorthern Ireland
CourtQueen's Bench Division (Northern Ireland)
Judgment Date2007
Neutral Citation[2007] NIQB 30
Neutral Citation no. [2007] NIQB 30
Ref:
GILC5806
Judgment: approved by the Court for handing down Delivered:
26/04/07
(subject to editorial corrections)*
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE IN NORTHERN IRELAND
QUEEN’S BENCH DIVISION (JUDICIAL REVIEW)
________
IN THE MATTER OF AN APPLICATION BY WITNESSES A, B, C, K
AND N FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW
AND IN THE MATTER OF THE DECISIONS OF THE BILLY WRIGHT
INQUIRY PANEL
________
GILLEN J
Introduction
[1] This is an application for judicial review of a decision of the Billy
Wright Inquiry Panel (“the Inquiry Panel”) made on 9 October 2006 in
relation to 5 applicants described as A, B, C, K and N. Each of the applicants
is a witness who was called to appear at a preliminary hearing of the Inquiry
and who may be called as a witness at the full hearing of the Inquiry and/or
referred to in the Inquiry report. Each applicant in this judicial review
challenges the decision by the Inquiry Panel not to grant him or her
anonymity and/or screening in the course of Inquiry proceedings. The
applicants in each case seek an Order of Certiorari to quash the decision
dealing with the specific refusal to grant anonymity and/or screening and a
declaration that the decision was unlawful, ultra vires and of no force or
effect. All applicants seek an Order of Mandamus requiring the Inquiry Panel
to grant the applicant in each case both anonymity and screening at the
forthcoming preliminary hearing of the Inquiry or in the alternative, requiring
the Inquiry Panel to reconsider the applicants’ application for anonymity
and/or screening fairly, in accordance with law and in accordance with any
judgment or direction of this court. In the course of the hearing, Mr Maguire
2
QC, who appeared on behalf of the applicants with Mr Schoffield abandoned
certain other relief sought at paragraphs 2(d) and (e)(i)-(iii) of his Order 53
application.
[2]Both Mr Maguire and Mr Larkin QC, who appeared on behalf of the
respondent with Ms Ross, conducted this application with great clarity and
economy and served to isolate a number of common grounds which arose in
relation to each case (subject to certain individual differences with which I
shall deal subsequently in this judgment). Thus four primary issues arose
which grounded the applicants’ case and which required my consideration.
(a) Had the Inquiry Panel misdirected itself in law as to the correct test to
be applied in the applicants’ applications?
(b) Had the Inquiry Panel failed to discharge its duty of inquiry and/or
failed to take relevant considerations into account by failing to seek or receive
from the PSNI an individualised risk assessment in relation to each of the
applicants?
(c) Had the Inquiry Panel reached it decisions in a procedurally unfair
manner by failing to disclose to the applicants, in advance of its respective
decisions, certain materials relied upon by the Panel?
(d) Had the Inquiry Panel misdirected itself in law and/or fact as to the
meaning and effect of the reports published by the Independent Monitoring
Commission?
Factual Background
[3] This Inquiry has been the subject of other litigation in the course of its
history and this enables me to borrow for the purposes of this application the
factual matrix set out helpfully by Deeny J in an unreported judgment In the
Matter of an Application by David Wright for Judicial Review of a Decision of
the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (DEEF 5579 21st December 2006) at
paragraph 2:
On 21 October 1998 three members of the Irish
National Liberation Army, who were also serving
prisoners at HMP The Maze, were convicted of the
murder of Billy Wright. On 1 August 2001 the
Governments of the United Kingdom and the
Republic of Ireland reached an agreement at
Weston Park in England. Among other matters
both Governments agreed to appoint a judge of
international standing to undertake `a thorough
investigation of allegations of collusion (by the

To continue reading

Request your trial
1 cases
  • Re Officer O's Application for Judicial Review
    • United Kingdom
    • Queen's Bench Division (Northern Ireland)
    • 14 May 2008
    ...by a decision is given advance notification of the central issue which the decision-maker must address (see Re A & Ors Application [2007] NIQB 30 at paragraph 40). It is an integral part of the legitimate expectation that a person will receive a fair hearing (see Re Cullen’s Application......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT