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Court dismisses challenge to Historical Abuse Inquiry

On 8th April 2016 the High Court dismissed an application for judicial review which challenged the decisions of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA).  The applicant, Gary Hoy, was a victim of abuse at the care home.  He sought to bring Kincora Boy’s Home within the remit of a separate Westminster Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse established by the Home Secretary, from which it was excluded. 

The applicant had filed evidence to the HIA Inquiry which indicated that members of the army and/ or security services may have been complicit in the abuse or had failed to take steps to prevent it.  The Secretary of State was of the view that the HIA Inquiry was the better forum for investigation of allegations about Kincora.  The protection of children was a devolved matter and work had already been commenced by the HIA. 

At the present time, Mr Justice Treacy was of the opinion that the application was ‘premature and misconceived.’  He said that the HIA had pledged to examine whether security and intelligence personnel were responsible for alleged failings at Kincora.  It is also the intention of the Inquiry to collate and make public what had occurred at the care home.  Mr Justice Treacy said that, ‘when it does so the authorities including the court will be in the best position to determine whether the UK Government bears any further obligation that needs to be met in some form.’

Patrick Corrigan from Amnesty International stated that, ‘Nothing less than a full public inquiry – with all the powers of compulsion which that brings – can finally reveal what happened and the role that the security services may have played in the abuse of these vulnerable boys.’

The summary of the judgment is available here.  Read the report from the Solicitors acting on behalf of the applicant here.

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