Statement from Madden and Finucane Solicitors
06 March 2019
Mother of Pearse Jordan wins Supreme Court Appeal
This morning, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom unanimously allowed an appeal by Teresa Jordan, mother of Pearse Jordan who was shot dead by the RUC in November 1992 against a decision of the Court of Appeal that a bereaved next of kin can only bring a claim for damages arising from the State’s failure to hold an inquest promptly, after the inquest has been concluded.
Mrs Jordan’s solicitor, Fearghal Shiels of Madden & Finucane, said:
“The Supreme Court has vindicated Pearse Jordan’s mother in bringing this appeal. It is a decision which is likely to have far reaching implications for dozens of next of kin in circumstances where the inquests into the deaths of their loved ones have effectively ground to a halt as a result of the woeful and deliberate failure to properly resource the coronial system. This judgment now gives those families an opportunity to access the courts and enforce their rights enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights in the domestic courts without recourse to Strasbourg.”
- In 1994 Pearse Jordan’s father Hugh complained to the European Court of Human Rights that the failure to carry out a prompt and effective investigation into his son’s death was a violation of Article 2 of ECHR.
- On 4 May 2001 the European Court of Human Rights upheld Mr Jordan’s complaint and ordered the UK Government to pay £10,000 damages, together with costs and expenses.
- In 2013, Mr Jordan brought further proceedings challenging the delay between 4 May 2001 and the commencement of an inquest into his son’s death on 24 September 2012. In 2014 the High Court held that there had been a further violation of Article 2 and awarded Mr Jordan £7,500 damages, to be payable by the Chief Constable of the PSNI. An appeal by the Chief Constable has yet to be decided.