NI Court of Appeal rule for report on collusion to be carried out for the car bombings in Dungannon in 1976


Re: Chief Constable Police Service of Northern Ireland v Edward Bernard

This case involved the killing of a 13 year old boy as a result of car bombings in Dungannon in 1976. The appellant raised some key issues in this case:

  1. Whether the appellant made clear and repeated promises to the respondent sufficient to ground a substantive legitimate expectation;
  2. Whether the PSNI Legacy Investigation Branch was sufficiently independent to conduct an investigation into this death.

Held: The Court accepted that the respondent, and by implication all the families whose loved ones were killed by off duty RUC and UDR officers across the Southern border counties of Northern Ireland in the 1970s, had a procedural legitimate expectation that an analytical report on collusion would be carried out by an independent police team.

The Court also held that the PSNI were not sufficiently independent for the purpose of carrying out such a report.

Danny Friedman QC was involved in this case.