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Northern Ireland: PSNI to appeal ‘Hooded Men' case to UK Supreme Court

Some of the Hooded Men and Grainne Teggart outside the Court of Appeal earlier this year © Amnesty International

What: Belfast Court of Appeal to decide on whether the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) can appeal the ‘Hooded Men’ case to UK Supreme Court. The PSNI will also seek to appeal the cases of Barnard (Glenanne Gang) and McQuillan (MRF) on similar grounds.

Where: Royal Courts of Justice, Chichester Street, Belfast, BT1 3JF

When: Thursday 21 November 2019

  • 9.45am: photo opportunity: Francis McGuigan and other ‘Hooded Men’, alongside Grainne Teggart, Amnesty International’s Northern Ireland Campaign Manager, and solicitor Darragh Mackin will arrive to court
  • 10am: Court hearing begins; decision is expected to be given
  • Following the hearing: Francis McGuigan and Grainne Teggart will give statements outside the court

On Thursday 21 November, the Court of Appeal in Belfast will hear that the Chief Constable of PSNI will challenge a recent judgment in favour of the ‘Hooded Men’ to the UK Supreme Court. The case also involves the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and the Department of Justice.

Ahead of the hearing on Thursday, Francis McGuigan, said:

“The Court of Appeal and before that the High Court were right when they said there should be an investigation to identify and hold to account those Ministers, MOD and RUC officers who were responsible for authorising and carrying out torture on us. 

“Nearly five decades on I remain determined to secure justice.”

Grainne Teggart, Amnesty International’s Northern Ireland Campaign Manager, said: 

“We will not stop until justice is delivered to these men.  For nearly half a century those who sanctioned and carried out their torture have not been held accountable – this is wholly unacceptable.

“We will continue to support their right to an independent, human rights-compliant investigation.

This latest appeal by the PSNI will only serve to further delay those responsible facing the full rigour of the law.”

In September this year, the Court ruled that an investigation into criminal acts committed during the interrogation of the ‘Hooded Men’ in Northern Ireland in 1971 should proceed and that the men’s treatment amounted to torture. 

The High Court in Belfast has also previously ruled that there must be an investigation into the unlawful treatment of the men. Mr Justice Maguire said in his judgment that the force’s decision to end its investigation into the case in 2014 was “seriously flawed” and that a “completely fresh decision process should begin”. He added it was “plain that the methods used were unlawful”.


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