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Supreme court ruling has implications for Troubles victims

Supreme court ruling will have legal implication for unsolved Troubles murders

A LANDMARK Supreme Court ruling delivered on Wednesday places a legal obligation on the state to investigate unsolved Troubles murder victims' groups have claimed.

The case was taken by the families of 24 civilians shot dead by the Scots Guards in December 1948 in Malaya.

The court ruled against the appeal for a fresh investigation because 1948 was too long and before the critical date of 1966, which was when the UK recognised a right of an individual to take a case to the European Court of Human Rights

However, the Pat Finucane Centre, Relatives for Justice and Rights Watch (UK) have all said the ruling will have implications in Northern Ireland as all killings currently in dispute occurred post 1966.

Darragh Mackin, of KRW Law, said the judgment will have "an important impact for dealing with historic related murders in this jurisdiction".

"The court has held that the obligation on the British State to investigate suspicious deaths arises from the date the state granted the right of individual petition, namely 1966.

"This therefore gives rise to an obligation on the British government to undertake human rights compliant investigations into Conflict related incidents", he added.

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