In July 2021, P.A. Duffy & Co. Solicitors were instructed in a Judicial Review challenge taken by 18 applicants against State authorities in the Republic of Ireland to challenge the State’s failure to establish Public Inquiries to investigate deaths of care home residents and the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic in Ireland.
We argued that the decision not to hold an Inquiry was a breach of rights under the Constitution and Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights which requires an effective investigation to be carried out in circumstances where the State are arguably responsible for a death or deaths.
The State maintained the following twofold position:
1. A public inquiry is not required as the State's response to the pandemic in nursing homes has been adequate.
2. Where failures have occurred, the State has already carried out effective investigations, so a public inquiry is not necessary.
The case has been ongoing, but we are hopeful that the decision to hold a public inquiry means that the issues in the case will make the case academic. Once the terms of reference are published, a final review can be conducted in respect of the judicial review challenge.