KRW LAW LLP is instructed by the family of John Kelly. The family of John Kelly were granted a statutory inquiry under Section 42 of the Garda Síochána Act in 2016.  Now family have successfully challenged the Terms of Reference of the inquiries to address what they believe is a failure to comply with obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).


Article 2 of the ECHR protects the right to life and places obligations on the state to investigate suspicious deaths, had been widely tested in Northern Ireland and Britain but not in the same way in the Republic of Ireland.


The Irish Justice Minister’s decided that Article 2 was not engaged in the inquiry process.


That decision will now be subject judicial scrutiny as early as December.


In granting leave to pursue the judicial review, Mr Justice Donald Binchy accepted all the grounds argued by KRW LAW LLP on behalf of the family of John Kelly which included that the failure to make the inquiries compliant with the human rights standards demanded by the ECHR when there has been a violation of Article 2.


This was also a breach of the Irish Constitution and contrary to the public interest.


Further, the decision of the Justice Minister was also unfair, unreasonable and irrational and that the families of the deceased had a legitimate expectation that the inquiry into the death of John Kelly would be human rights compliant.


Darragh Mackin, Partner KRW LAW LLP, said


“We welcome this grant of leave to pursue this judicial review challenge against the erroneous decision of the Justice Minister. This is completely new territory. This is the first time for the Irish government to be challenged on its obligations under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights in this way.”