In the previous post I said that I had been told that, since Leckey had retired permanently from his judicial post of Chief Coroner, the Lord Chief Justice had no further responsibility for his actions whilst in the post. I was also told that I had no right of redress except to HM The Queen directly.
I found it hard to believe that, having relinquished the rights of making judicial appointments and having handed responsibility to a Commission, that she could still be on the list to investigate complaints. Perhaps her relinquishment of hearing appeals only applied to mainland UK but excluded Northern Ireland. Certainly judges and presumably Coroners were still subject to “explanatory accountability” whilst in office and I imagined that it could be enacted even though the judicial officer had subsequently resigned or retired.
I understood that the Queen’s role in the Judiciary was now purely symbolic, but who was I to doubt a ruling by the Lord Chief Justice.
He might have considered submitting my case to the Queen himself but he chose not to.
The Lord Chief Justice clearly had no interest in finding out if the perverse behaviour of Leckey in my brother’s case was a one-off event or if he had previously applied the same practice in other cases to change, delay or manipulate evidence to match his pre-selected conclusions.
Apparently the Lord Chief Justice just wasn’t curious although, no sooner had Leckey retired than Lord Justice Weir descended on the Coroner’s Court to find out why there were such interminable delays in the cases connected with the Troubles. Perhaps he did have his suspicions. It would have been more sensible to carry out the investigation whilst Leckey was in Office and not two months after he retired. I wonder why that was.
I would have to make the submission to the Queen myself.
I thought it prudent to seek further information and clarity from the lord Chief Justice. On 27th September 2016, I asked for his help.
This was his reply to my request.. You will note that his staff did not suggest that the information I was previously given was wrong regarding approaching the Queen.
I wonder why his reply was marked “Official Sensitive-In confidence.” What was there to hide and from whom?
I also wrote to the Coroner’s Office requesting information under the Freedom of information Act.
This was the reply I received.
This was confirmation to me that any Coroner can close down any case without giving any reason to the family of the deceased for doing so or even telling them that it has been done. They would leave it to the disappointed family to make a personal appeal to the Attorney General to have the decision reversed – but only if they found out. To me, that is a scandalous and unacceptable state of affairs if that is the official policy .
I also decided to make my intentions clear to the Department of Justice before proceeding further and ask for their help. The new Minister of Justice was Claire Sugden who would surely be an improvement on MLA Ford. This is my letter to the Department.
You will note that the letter was posted on 10th January 2017 just about 6 days before the Assembly collapsed and 7 weeks before the Election. My letter has never been acknowledged as being received.
It seems that the Civil Servants who staff the Department had also decided to withdraw from their posts.
The next post will be titled :-
“Who stole the Queen’s Mail ?”