KRW LAW lodge Legacy Bill legal challenges

The British Governments legacy Bill will be challenged in 5 cases issued in the High Court in Belfast. The Bill passed through the House of Commons last week and currently awaits Royal Assent. In advance of that we have applied for emergency judicial intervention to adjudicate on the cases. The first preliminary hearings will take place on Friday 28 September 2023.


The litigation will argue the Bill is unconstitutional, unlawful and in breach of the NI Protocol as well as being in breach of Articles 2, 3, 6 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights.


The 5 cases are: –

  1. William Campbell on behalf of Tony Campbell who was killed by British Army undercover unit MRF in February 1972. In February 2021. The Attorney General Brenda King ordered a new inquest into his killing and that of 5 other men in the New Lodge area of North Belfast. The legacy Bill will prevent the inquest being heard.
  2. Liam Shannon is one of the Hooded Men tortured by the Army after he was interned in 1971. He is currently in the middle of a High Court challenge to force the PSNI into conducting a proper criminal investigation into the torture allegations. He’s concerned they will run down the clock and the Legacy Bill will time out the prospect of ever having any criminal accountability against perpetrators of his torture.
  3. Gemma Gilvary on behalf of her brother, Maurice Gilvary, who was abducted, interrogated and tortured for a week bythe PIRA’s Internal Security Unit before being murdered on 19th January 1981.


She alleges the protection of State agents / informants, including a serving RUC officer who told the IRA that Maurice was a police informant, to the exclusion of an independent investigation into the torture and murder of her brother. The case forms part of the pending Operation Kenova investigation into the alleged British Army spy known as “Stakeknife” inside the IRA.


She is challenging the Secretary of State, the PPS and the ICRIR itself.

  1. Mary Braniff on behalf of Anthony Braniff murdered by PIRA on the 27 September 1981.


This case is also one of a number of cases within the pending Operation Kenova investigation undertaken by Jon Boutcher. Cases have been referred to the PPS and currently await a direction on prosecutions. The Bill will prevent the possibility of any criminal prosecution ever taking place.


  1. Margaret McReynolds who witnessed the atrocity at Sean Grahams Bookmakers Ormeau Road when 5 people were killed on 5 February 1992. On 17/5/22 she filed a High Court civil action against The State alleging misfeasance and other tort actions. The out workings of the Bill will stop her case and halt her ever having access to the court.


Speaking on the filing of the latest tranche of cases Niall Murphy and Setanta Marley, from KRW LAW Conflict Litigation Dept said,


“This legislation breaches the UK’s Article 2, 3, 6 and 14 ECHR obligations. It represents the most egregious breach of international human rights standards. The latest legal initiative complements our lobbying of the Irish Government from November last year urging an immediate Inter- State challenge to the UK.


To that end we are encouraged with the latest positive response from an Irish Govt representative in NYC to our call for an immediate intervention in Europe. Speaking on an AOH USA webinar yesterday (see link), Helena Nolan said that legal advice was pending soon. Ireland bringing a case now will bring added leverage to our imminent filing of other applications in Strasbourg to challenge the Bill. Our cases together with those taken by other legal colleagues represent a powerful collective counter to the illegal excesses of the Legacy Bill.”