THE HOODED MEN: JUDICIAL REVIEW IN THE HIGH COURT TODAY
KRW LAW LLP is instructed by a number of The Hooded Men interned and tortured by British Security Forces in August 1971. These 14 men became the first (there were others to follow) “Guinea Pigs” in the British army’s deployment of ‘deep interrogation’ or what have become known as The Five Techniques. These methods had been developed in the post-war colonial insurgency conflicts and were used until at least 2003 during the British military occupation of Iraq, their use being exposed in the Baha Mousa Inquiry Report of 2011. The techniques included prolonged periods of sensory deprivation, disorientation by hooding, wall standing, and the use of ‘white noise’ and food and water deprival.
On behalf of The Hooded Men, KRW LAW LLP successfully challenged the Irish government in its initial failure to refer the case of The Hooded Men back to the ECtHR to be examined again and for this time for the Strasbourg Court to declare that the treatment of The Hooded Men amounted to torture. The Irish government decided not to contest the challenge and has duly made an Application to the ECtHR so that The Hooded Men case of Ireland v UK can be re-examined.
Today in the High Court in Belfast a further legal challenge is being pursued by The Hooded Men: the failure to establish a human rights complaint investigation into the torture of the Hooded Men. The judicial review application being taken challenges the investigation being undertaken by the PSNI into the torture of The Hooded Men as it lacks independence as the RUC had knowledge of the practices and reliance upon the ‘intelligence’ gathered.
The Hooded Men will be arguing that what is required is an investigation compliant with the standards required following a breach by the state of Article 3 of the ECHR – which prohibits torture and is an absolute prohibition. There is now sufficient jurisprudence and evidence to suggest, as The Hooded Men do, that their treatment was torture and must be examined to those standards through either an independent police investigation or an independent judicial inquiry.
The hearing is listed for three days.