Press Notice 25

Publication of Report
31st January 2011

For immediate use

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has laid a Written Ministerial Statement in the House of Commons today [Monday, 31st January] pertaining to the Robert Hamill Inquiry. This states that the Robert Hamill Inquiry intends to complete its report by the end of February. Thereafter, the Secretary of State intends to publish the Inquiry’s final report as soon as practicable but, in the light of legal proceedings against three individuals, he has decided not to publish the report until those proceedings are concluded.

These proceedings relate to the conclusion by the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland (PPS), announced on 21st December 2010, that the Test for Prosecution had been met with respect to two persons for an offence of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and one person for an offence of doing an act with intent to pervert the course of justice. This conclusion was reached following a review of all the available evidence, including that given to the Inquiry. 

The Secretary of State’s statement also outlines the steps which he intends to take to check the Inquiry’s report to ensure that its publication will not breach Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights by putting lives or the safety of individuals at risk.

Responding to the Secretary of State’s statement, a spokesperson for the Inquiry said:

“The Inquiry is completely content with the statement that the Secretary of State has made to the Commons today, and considers this to be the best way forward.

“The publication arrangements are as set out in the Secretary of State’s statement. The Inquiry intends to complete its report by the end of February.”


Editors’ notes:


1.      The PPS reached its conclusion, referred to in this press notice, after carrying out a review of a previous decision by the Northern Ireland Director of Public Prosecutions to discontinue proceedings against certain persons arising from the circumstances of the death of Robert Hamill. The review was carried out as a result of the Robert Hamill Inquiry’s interim report which was published on 12th March 2010.

2.      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.

3.      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).

4.      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.

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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