Sinn Féin Victims Spokesperson Linda Dillon MLA has expressed concern at a decision to appeal a landmark court ruling relating to the death of Jean Smith-Campbell, a young mother shot dead in 1972.
Last month the Court of Appeal ruled that the PSNI’s Legacy Investigation Branch is not independent and therefore incapable of delivering on the family’s right to an investigation which is human-rights compliant.
However, the PSNI. NIO and Department of Justice have now announced intention to appeal that verdict.
Linda Dillon commented: “We view with concern the intention of the PSNI, NIO and the Department of Justice to appeal the judgement in relation to the British Government’s failure to conduct a human-rights compliant investigation into the death of Jean Smith-Campbell in June 1972.
“This will compound the anguish of the family who are still waiting for an effective investigation almost 50 years after Jean’s untimely death. During this time, they have witnessed a litany of failures and delays while being deprived of the right to due process for their loved one.
“While the PSNI have outlined their desire to appeal part of the ruling, both the NIO and the Department of Justice intend to appeal the full judgment. However, the family have clearly outlined their demand for a fully independent, human-rights compliant investigation and this should be facilitated by the British Government urgently implementing the legacy mechanisms agreed at Stormont House in a human rights compliant manner.
“The policy intent for an independent historical investigative unit should also be introduced into Westminster before the summer recess, alongside the other mechanisms and given legislative effect by the spring of next year.”