High Court rejects challenge to Azelle Rodney unlawful killing finding

Thursday 27 February 2014

The High Court has today rejected a judicial review challenge to the unlawful killing finding of the Azelle Rodney Inquiry. In its judgement, the court ruled such a challenge as unarguable and without merit.

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Following the finding of unlawful killing last year, the former Metropolitan Police officer who shot Mr Rodney dead had sought to overturn the finding on the basis that it was "irrational". However, the High Court has found that the decision of the Inquiry Chairman Sir Christopher Holland was rational based on the evidence.

At paragraph 59 of its judgment today, the Court dismissed the challenge as "unarguable". It further ruled that there is "no doubt" that the associated findings of the Inquiry could be considered irrational or perverse.

On learning of the outcome, Susan Alexander, Mr Rodney's mother, voiced her disappointment at the fact that, eight months on from the Inquiry publishing its report, the CPS has to date failed to reach an efficient and speedy decision on whether to bring criminal charges in respect of her son's unlawful killing. She went on to call on the DPP, the Attorney General and the Home Secretary to review the resources being applied to this case by the CPS (and if relevant the IPCC) so that the case can be prioritised.

Leslie Thomas leading Adam Straw represented Mr Rodney's family in both this judicial review, and at the original inquiry in 2013. They are instructed by Daniel Machover of Hickman and Rose Solicitors. The family are supported by the support group INQUEST.

Further information can be found in INQUEST's public statement.

Today's decision has been widely reported in the media, including by the BBC, ITV, The Guardian and The Voice.

Leslie Thomas has been defending civil liberties for over 25 years. He is a member of the Garden Court Claims Against the Police and Inquests Teams. He officially becomes Queen's Counsel 14 April 2014.

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