Timeline How events unfolded
1981 – Pat Finucane acts for Bobby Sands during the hunger striker’s successful campaign to be elected as an MP.
1987 – The British army’s secret agent handling team, the Force Research Unit, recruits former loyalist paramilitary Brian Nelson to return to be an agent within the UDA.
1988 – Finucane represents the families of three men killed in a “shoot-to-kill” in Armagh in 1982, and Patrick McGeown, who was accused of helping to organise the killing of two soldiers.
January 1989 – British home office junior minister Douglas Hogg tells MPs that certain solicitors in Northern Ireland are “unduly sympathetic” to terrorist organisations, indicating he meant the IRA.
February 1989 – Finucane is murdered by loyalist gunmen as he is having a meal with his children and wife Geraldine. SDLP and Sinn Féin politicians say Hogg’s comments legitimised loyalist attacks on solicitors who acted for republicans.
September 1989 – John Stevens, deputy chief constable of Cambridgeshire Police, is appointed to investigate allegations of collaboration.
1992 – Brian Nelson goes on trial at Belfast crown court. He is jailed for 10 years on five counts of conspiracy to murder.
April 1993 – Stevens begins his second inquiry into the North’s security forces.
March 1998 – UN special investigator Param Cumaraswamy accuses the RUC of “systematic intimidation” of lawyers representing paramilitary suspects.
April 1999 – John Stevens returns for a third inquiry.
June 1999 – Former UDA quartermaster William Stobie, also an informant, acquitted of murder of Finucane. He was murdered in December 2001 by the Red Hand Defenders.
May 2002 – Retired Canadian judge Peter Cory appointed to investigate six killings in the North, including that of Finucane, in which security force involvement was alleged.
June 2002 – BBC’s Panorama programme provides details of Force Research Unit.
April 2003 – Stevens’s third report concludes that RUC and British army elements colluded with loyalist paramilitaries to murder Catholics in the late 1980s. Nelson dies in Canada.
October 2003 – Cory reports handed to British and Irish governments with clear warning that text should not be altered. Publication delay sees British government accused of trying to “sex down” the findings.
April 2004 – Reports published find “strong evidence that collusive acts were committed by the army, the RUC special branch and the security service”.
October 2011 – A limited 18- month inquiry into Finucane’s death involving Sir Desmond de Silva is announced. He was not allowed to examine witnesses under oath.
January 2012 – Finucane family granted judicial review of decision not to hold public inquiry into his death.
December 2012 – De Silva report is published.