Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Most Welcome Development

Boston College has just filed a notice of appeal with the district court in Boston, challenging some piece of the court's orders regarding the Belfast Project subpoenas. I can't find the appellate filing on Pacer, yet, and BC's public affairs office mostly doesn't respond to my questions, these days, so I don't know what they're appealing or on what grounds. More soon!

ADDED LATER:

Below, the very brief notice of appeal filed with the district court. It shows that BC is appealing the judge's order regarding materials responsive to the second set of subpoenas, the broad Aug. 4 subpoenas that sought any materials related to the murder of Jean McConville.

Bc Notice of Appeal

ADDED LATER:

A statement from the Belfast Project researchers:

“We would like to welcome Boston College’s decision to lodge an appeal against the subpoenas served against seven of our interviewees but regret that the college finally took this decision too late to include the interviews of Dolours Price.

“With respect to the standard of review of the materials we can see absolutely no difference between the seven cases now to be appealed by BC and that of Dolours Price. For our part we will continue our fight to protect all our interviewees, Republican and Loyalist, including Dolours Price.”

Ed Moloney - former Project Director, Belfast Project
Anthony McIntyre - lead researcher, republican interviews
Wilson McArthur - lead researcher, loyalist interviews

ADDED LATER:

Ted Folkman weighs in on the importance of BC's appeal, arguing that it "changes the whole complexion of the case."

ADDED LATER:

Via the Boston Irish Reporter, this statement from Boston College:

"Boston College today filed an appeal of the District Court's most recent decision (issued January 20, 2012) requiring the University to turn over all or parts of the interviews of seven individuals who took part in The Belfast Project, an oral history project on the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

"The University is seeking further review of the court's order to ensure that the value of the interviews to the underlying criminal investigation by the Police Service of Northern Ireland outweighs the interests in protecting the confidentiality of academic research materials.


"Boston College did not appeal the District Court's first decision in this case (issued December 16, 2011) because the court both accepted Boston College's argument that government subpoenas for confidential academic materials requires heightened scrutiny, and agreed to review the materials in camera to help protect the significant interests at stake. In its appeal, Boston College will argue that the District Court incorrectly applied its own review standard when it demanded the production of the interviews of these seven individuals."

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