Failure to investigate deaths in Northern Ireland

McKerr group v the United Kingdom (Appl. No. 28883/95)

  • Rule 9 submission by Gemma McKeown of the Committee on the Administration of Justice
  • Decision of the Committee of Ministers, December 2016 
  • Judgment of the European Court of Human Rights

In these cases the Court found the United Kingdom in violation of its procedural obligations under Article 2 (right to life) of the Convention.

Six of these judgments, delivered in 2001-2003, concern the deaths of the applicants’ next-of-kin in Northern Ireland in the 1980s and 1990s either during security forces operations or in circumstances giving rise to suspicion of collusion with those forces. A ‘package of measures’ was put forward to remedy these violations however implementation of these judgments has been subject to excessive delay.

Further judgments have been delivered since 2013 again finding Article 2 investigative violations due to excessive delays in inquest proceedings into deaths concerning the security forces in Northern Ireland. 

Latest information on the execution of this group of cases and recommendations were presented by Gemma McKeown of the Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ). 

CAJ submission under rule 9(2) of the Rules of the Committee of Ministers can be found here

The Committee's decision on the McKerr group adopted at its 1273 CM-DH meeting can be found here