Press Notice 012

Judicial Review Judgment
1st July 2008

The Robert Hamill Inquiry welcomes today’s judgment by Mr Justice Weatherup with regard to the Judicial Review concerning the Inquiry’s terms of reference. The Judicial Review has examined the decision by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland not to extend the Inquiry’s terms of reference to include the office of the former Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland. The Inquiry hopes that the Secretary of State will review his decision regarding the terms of reference at the earliest possible opportunity.


 Editor’s notes:

  1. This Judicial Review arose from an application by Jessica Hamill, the mother of Robert Hamill, for leave to judicially review the Secretary of State’s decision with regard to the terms of reference. This application was supported by the Robert Hamill Inquiry. The Hamill family initially wrote to the Secretary of State, requesting that the terms of reference be extended to include the Director of Public Prosecutions, in January 2007. In March 2008, the Secretary of State informed the Hamill family that he did not think it would be in the public interest to extend the terms of reference.

  2. The judgment was delivered today [Tuesday, 1 July] by Mr Justice Weatherup in the Northern Ireland High Court in Belfast. A transcript of the judgment will be made available by the High Court in due course.

  3. The Inquiry’s terms of reference are:

To inquire into the death of Robert Hamill with a view to determining whether any wrongful act or omission by or within the Royal Ulster Constabulary facilitated his death or obstructed the investigation of it, or whether attempts were made to do so; whether any such act or omission was intentional or negligent; whether the investigation of his death was carried out with due diligence; and to make recommendations.

  1. The Chairman of the Inquiry is Sir Edwin Jowitt, a retired Justice for the High Court, Queen’s Bench Division. The other members of the Inquiry Panel are Sir John Evans (former President of the Association of Chief Police Officers and retired Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Constabulary) and Reverend Baroness Richardson of Calow (Moderator of he Churches’ Commission for Inter Faith Relations).

  2. The Inquiry was established on 16 November 2004 when the then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Paul Murphy, announced the terms of reference for the inquiry into the death of Robert Hamill following an incident in Portadown, County Armagh on 27 April 1997.

  3. Further information regarding the Inquiry can be obtained from the Inquiry’s website: or from the Press Officer to the Inquiry, Liz Fawcett, who can be contacted on +44 (0) 28 9020 0811 or +44 (0) 771 943 5662.

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