Former First Minister Arlene Foster unlawfully stopped Stormont Executive discussion of a funding plan aimed at clearing a backlog of legacy inquests, the High Court has ruled.
Speaking on Thursday 8 March, Belfast High Court judge Sir Paul Girvan said that the DUP leader was “in error” in concluding the £150 million earmarked by the British Government as part of the Stormont House Agreement should await the outcome of an overall package dealing with all legacy issues.
He said that the current impasse in Northern Ireland has created a political vacuum and that Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley was responsible for overseeing the functioning of Government.
The judge continued that the obligation on the state to investigate deaths during the conflict remained whether or not devolved Government was restored.
He said more work was needed before the Treasury could approve the proposal and cautioned unlimited public funds were not available.