About The Inquiry

Terms of Reference

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the Rt Hon Paul Murphy MP, announced the establishment of the Inquiry under section 44 of the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 1998 on 16thNovember 2004.

Subsequently, on the basis of its initial work, the Inquiry became concerned that its Terms of Reference were insufficiently wide to enable it to discharge the task with which it has been charged effectively and thoroughly. The Secretary of State therefore agreed to amend the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference, and announced the following amended Terms of Reference in a Written Ministerial Statement to Parliament on Thursday 24thMarch 2005:

“ To inquire into the death of Rosemary Nelson with a view to determining whether any wrongful act or omission by or within the Royal Ulster Constabulary, Northern Ireland Office, Army or other state agency facilitated her death or obstructed the investigation of it, or whether attempts were made to do so; whether any such act or omission was intentional or negligent; whether the investigation of her death was carried out with due diligence; and to make recommendations.”

The Inquiry Panel

The Inquiry is being conducted by a Panel of three. The Panel members are:

 Sir Michael Morland, a retired Judge of the High Court of England and Wales, is the Chairman of the Inquiry. 

 Dame Valerie Strachan, former Chairman of the Board of Customs and Excise.

 Sir Anthony Burden, former Chief Constable of South Wales Police.

Stephen Myers is Solicitor and Secretary to the Inquiry. Rory Phillips QC, Mark Savill, Peter Skelton and Clare Brown are Counsel to the Inquiry.

Biographical details for the Panel

Sir Michael Morland served as a Judge of the High Court of Justice, Queen's Bench Division, between 1989 and 2004, having served as a Recorder since 1972. During this time he served as the presiding judge of the Northern Circuit and as a member of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (1980-1989). In 1980, he chaired the inquiry into the death of four-year old Paul Brown, set up by the Department of Health and Social Security. He has had direct experience of Northern Ireland during his career - he was a member of the 1974 Gardiner Commission on internment and he acted for the Crown in 1973 in internment proceedings.

Sir Anthony Burden was the Chief Constable of South Wales Police from 1996 to 2003, during which time he served for a year as President of the Association of Chief Police Officers. Previously he served as the Chief Constable of Gwent Constabulary and Assistant then Deputy Chief Constable of West Mercia Constabulary.

Dame Valerie Strachan has been the Deputy Chair of the Community Fund and then Vice Chair of the Big Lottery Fund since 2000. From 2000 until 2002, she assisted Sir Andrew Leggatt on the Review of Tribunals. She was the Deputy Chairman then Chairman of the Board of Customs and Excise from 1987 to 2000. Before this she was the Head of HM Treasury/Cabinet Office Joint Management Unit from 1985 to 1987.