Background to the Inquiry

On the 29th January 1998, after almost 26 years, the Britsh Prime Minister, Tony Blair, announced in the British house of Commons;

"...that a Tribunal be established for inquiring into a definite matter of urgent public importance, namely the events on Sunday, 30 January 1972 which led to loss of life in connection with the procession in Londonderry on that day, taking account of any new information relevant to events on that day."

The Inquiry, known as the "Bloody Sunday Inquiry" consists of three members.

Lord Mark Saville, Chair
Born in 1936, educated at Rye Grammar School and Brasenose College, Oxford. He read law at University and obtained first class degrees (BA and BCL). He was awarded the Vinerian Scholarship in 1960. Lord Saville was called to the Bar (Middle Temple) in 1962. He became a Queen's Counsel in 1975 and a Bencher of his Inn in 1983. He was appointed a Judge of the High Court in 1985 and a Lord Justice of Appeal in 1994. In 1997 he was appointed a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary. Between 1994 and 1996 he chaired a Committee of the Department of Trade and Industry concerned with arbitration legislation. This produced an Arbitration Bill, which has now been enacted as the Arbitration Act 1996.

Sir Edward Somers
Born in Christchurch, New Zealand, in September 1928. He was educated at Christ's College and at Canterbury University, Christchurch, where he read law (BA, LLB).

He practised as a barrister and solicitor between 1952 and 1971, and practised solely as a barrister from 1971. He was appointed Queen's Counsel (QC) in 1973.

Sir Edward was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of New Zealand in 1974, and became a judge of New Zealand's Court of Appeal in 1981. He retired in 1990. He was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws degree (LLD) by the University of Canterbury in 1992.

The Honourable William Hoyt
Born in Saint John, New Brunswick (NB), Canada, in September 1930, educated at Woodstock High School NB, Acadia University, Wolfville Nova Scotia (BA, MA), and at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, England (BA, MA).

Called to the New Brunswick Bar in 1957, he practised as a barrister between 1957 and 1981. He was appointed Queen's Counsel (QC) in 1972.

Mr Hoyt was appointed a judge of the Court of the Queen's Bench of New Brunswick in 1981. From 1984 until 1998 he was a judge of the Court of Appeal of New Brunswick. He was Chief Justice of New Brunswick from 1993 to 1998 and, in that capacity, was a member of the Canadian Judicial Council.

A member of the New Brunswick Judicial Council from 1988 to 1998, Mr Hoyt was its Chairman from 1993. He was Administrator of the Government of New Brunswick from 1994 to 1998. He was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws (LLD) by St Thomas University, Fredericton NB in 1997 and by the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton NB in 1998.