Legal & Inquiries

CAJ provides information, advice and, where appropriate, representation to victims (or potential victims) of human rights abuses in Northern Ireland, and monitors the handling of past human rights abuses.  We have a qualified solicitor on our staff team to provide advice and representation.

We do this by:

Providing advice and assistance to individuals, groups and organisations where a breach or violation of human rights has been alleged.

Supporting cases previously taken to the European Court of Human Rights and other “historic” cases to ensure compliance with international human rights obligations.

Working with families, representatives and public bodies seeking an effective Article 2 compliant process for dealing with historic and future cases.

Providing advice, assistance and support to victims’ families through their engagement with the Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland, the Historical Enquiries Team and the coronial system investigation.

Making submissions to domestic and international oversight bodies.

Observing, intervening in or otherwise engaging in court proceedings in accordance with our strategic plan.

Monitoring the Rosemary Nelson, Billy Wright and Robert Hamill Inquiries and campaigning for a genuinely independent and effective inquiry into the case of Pat Finucane.

In 2001 Judge Cory, a retired Canadian Supreme Court judge, was appointed by the British and Irish Governments to investigate allegations of British and Irish security force collusion with paramilitaries in six particular cases connected to the conflict in Northern Ireland.

Two cases related to allegations of collusion by the Garda Síochána, the killing of the Northern Ireland Justice Maurice Gibson and Lady Cecily Gibson and the killing of two RUC officers, Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Bob Buchanan.  These reports were published by the Irish Government on 18 December 2003.  In 2005, the Smithwick Tribunal of Inquiry was set up to investigate the deaths of the two RUC officers.  Judge Cory found no evidence of collusion in the deaths of Justice and Lady Gibson and did not recommend the establishment of an Inquiry into their deaths.

The Cory Collusion Inquiry investigated allegations of British security force collusion in the deaths of Patrick Finucane, Robert Hamill, Rosemary Nelson and Billy Wright.  On 1 April 2004, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland published the reports by the Cory Collusion Inquiry which recommended the establishment of four public inquiries to investigate these deaths.  Inquiries have been set up in all cases except that of Pat Finucane.

For more information on our Legal and Inquiries work, please email