On Monday 14 June, the UK Supreme Court will hear the Chief Constable of PSNI’s challenge to a 2019 judgment in favour of the ‘Hooded Men’ that there should be an independent investigation into their torture.
The case also involves the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and the Department of Justice. Amnesty International have supported the Hooded Men’s campaign for decades, and are intervenors in the case.
Ahead of the hearing, Francis McGuigan, one of the Hooded Men, said:
“I hope the Supreme Court will not only say there should be an investigation to identify and hold to account those who were responsible for authorising and carrying out torture on us, but also that the PSNI are not independent and must not conduct it.
“Truth and justice must prevail. This case doesn’t just matter for me as a ‘Hooded Man’, it is important for every torture victim past, present and future.”
Grainne Teggart, Amnesty International’s Northern Ireland Campaign Manager, said:
“All eyes should be on this challenge, which will be hugely significant to torture victims across the world and the ongoing unresolved issue of legacy of the Troubles. It should concern us all that the PSNI continue to argue against an independent, effective investigation into state-sanctioned torture.
“The implications of this case cannot be overstated. This is not just about long-overdue justice for the ‘Hooded Men’, it will also affect other victims of the Troubles who are still being denied truth and justice.”
Darragh Mackin, solicitor for Phoenix Law, said:
“As the Lord Chief Justice has previously made clear, ‘there is a real danger that the rule of law is undermined if that extends to protecting Ministers from investigation in respect of criminal offences possibly committed by them’. For the same reasons, we intend to vigorously defend the Chief Constable’s appeal before the Supreme Court.”
Court of Appeal ruling
In September 2019, the Court of Appeal 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.