The widow of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane is to seek damages against the UK government for remaining in breach of a legal obligation to carry out an investigation into his murder, the High Court heard today.
A judge was also told that Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris will provide a timeframe next week for taking a new decision on whether to order a public inquiry.
The developments came in a challenge by the lawyer’s family to an ongoing failure to establish such a probe.
Mr Finucane, 39, was shot dead by loyalist paramilitary gunmen in front of his wife Geraldine and three children at their north Belfast home in February 1989.
His family have campaigned ever since for a public inquiry to establish the full scale of security force collusion in one of the most notorious assassinations during the Troubles.
In 2019 the UK Supreme Court declared that previous investigations into the killing failed to meet standards required by Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Since then, Mrs Finucane has mounted further legal battles over the Government’s response to that finding.
In November 2020, former Secretary of State Brandon Lewis announced there would not be a public inquiry at this stage because he wanted other police review processes to run their course. He was ordered then to pay £7,500 damages to Mrs Finucane for the excessive delay in reaching that position.