Press Notice 23

12th May 2010

The Robert Hamill Inquiry is inviting members of the public to submit their views on any issues they believe the Inquiry should cover in its recommendations.

The Inquiry intends to deliver its report, together with a series of recommendations, to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland by the end of the year.

The Solicitor and Secretary to the Inquiry, Judi Kemish, explained why the Inquiry had decided to take this step:

“The Inquiry is keen that the process of drawing up its recommendations should be as open and inclusive as possible,” she said.

“We would encourage any organisations and individuals who feel they could usefully contribute to this process to submit their views.”

The Inquiry has already identified a number of organisations and matters which might form the subject of one or more recommendations. These include a number of relevant bodies, such as the Police Service of Northern Ireland. The list also includes wider issues pertaining to the initiation of a public inquiry and the procedures governing such inquiries.

A fuller list of matters which the Inquiry is considering addressing in its recommendations is included in the public notice containing the Inquiry’s invitation which is being published on the Inquiry’s website (  [at 10am, Wednesday, 12th May].

The Inquiry commenced its public hearings in January 2009 and held its closing submissions hearings in December 2009. The Inquiry heard evidence in person from 174 witnesses and witness statements from a further 37 witnesses.

The Inquiry’s Panel is currently writing up its report. Any member of the public who wishes to submit their views with regard to the areas the Inquiry should cover in its recommendations has until Tuesday, 1st June, 2010 to do so. The Inquiry will give careful consideration to all submissions it receives but cannot undertake to make recommendations on every issue raised.


Editors’ notes:


1.      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.

2.      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).

3.      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.

4.      A copy of the public notice containing the Inquiry’s invitation is being issued to newsdesks with this press notice.  It will also be available at the following link from 10am on Wednesday, 12th May:

5.      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 the following numbers: +44 (0) 028 9020 0811 or +44 (0) 771 943 5662. Liz can also be contacted by E-mail on

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