European judgments on North killings 'ignored'


Critical European court judgments on British government security force killings and alleged collusion with loyalists in the North have been ignored, campaigners claimed today.

Insufficient action on up to seven-year-old European Court of Human Rights rulings sets a bad example for other countries, British/Irish Rights Watch (BIRW) added.

The court accused UK authorities of violating the right to life of IRA men shot dead in controversial circumstances during the Troubles.

The police investigation into Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane’s 1989 death at the hands of loyalists was also examined by the court.

The British Government denies inaction on the rulings.

BIRW director Jane Winter said: “If the government says we are going to ignore the judgments then we are going around the world telling other people how to run their countries and telling them they must be human rights-compliant while setting an extremely bad example.

“The only way that the UK can be forced to enforce decisions by the court is if other countries insist and because they also have very bad records, some much worse than the UK, they are not going to put the pressure on.”

She said the Republic was an exception and had raised the matter repeatedly.

The court accused the authorities of violating the human rights of the victims. In some cases the investigative procedures following their deaths were not sufficiently independent.