Could civil action give relatives a viable route to justice?

A bit after the fact, since we were a little bogged down last week with the repercussions of the European election results, but it looks like the Omagh families are now targeting individuals on the Army Council of the Real IRA for civil action… Could this be a viable second front for relatives whose attempts to gain justice through the criminal justice system have been stymied various pieces of legislation, from the 2005 Enquiries Act to the legislaiton underpinning the St Andrews Agreement? Could that open up the responsibilities of organisations like the UDA, the UVF and the IRA itself under fire too…

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  • Brian Walker

    Mick, Some of us far from the local hustings were quite busy with Omagh in fact! eg

    http://sluggerotoole.com/index.php/weblog/comments/the-effects-of-the-omagh-ruling-stretch-far-and-wide/

    This is a logical follow up.

  • Mick Fealty

    Doh, I meant me!

  • Seymour Major

    This type of case – where a litigant makes a claim where the same set of facts giving rise to that claim – amount to a crime, which has either not been tried or failed in a criminal court is rare but certainly not unheard of.

    In theory, bringing a case in a civil court should be easier because the criminal standard of proof (beyond reasonable doubt) is much higher than the civil standard (balance of probabilities.

    The problem with such cases is usually funding. It wont be funded by legal aid unless there are reasonable prospects of recovering damages from the defendant.

    The attraction of bringing a case like this is rarely motivated by money. Often, the victim will see merely the confrontation plus a decree of judgment which is favourable as object of the litigation.

    In these sorts of cases, the victim needs special courage. They need to be able to conquer the fear that if they win, they will not be the victim of a reprisal.

    I salute those who are brave enough to bring their case to court

  • Ulsters my homeland

    What would be the average cost of legal fees for a civil like this?

    As a rough guess to how feasible it would be for a victim to sue, lets say the person being sued has a mortgage of £100,000 + and has possibly paid £20,000 of their own money towards that mortgage, would the legal fees be in excess of say £20,000?

  • redhugh78

    You fail to mention the British Govt but then I suppose the UDA, UVF etc would come under that umbrella.
    Perception tells one a lot about another.

  • Gabriel

    This will get nowhere as it would open up a whole can of worms for the british government.