The complaint arises from the Police Ombudsman’s investigation into the so-called ‘Good Neighbour Bombing’ in August 1988 in Londonderry.
The bomb killed two people and seriously injured a third in the Creggan area of the city.
The victims were neighbours of the man who lived at the property who had become concerned after the resident had not been seen for six days.
It later transpired that the man was kidnapped by the IRA and the device set to kill police or security force members lured to the house.
Sean Dalton and Sheila Lewis were killed in the blast and Thomas Curran died from his injuries the following March.
The IRA apologised for their deaths.
Mr Dalton’s family later claimed the police had been negligent in allowing civilians to approach the flat, alleging the RUC were aware that the property had been booby-trapped.
They complained to the Police Ombudsman that the RUC failed in their responsibilities to uphold Mr Dalton's right to life under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Earlier this year, the Police Ombudsman Dr Michael Maguire published a statement saying there was a failure by the police to uphold the right to life of Mr Dalton.
The Northern Ireland Association of Retired Police Officers (NIRPOA) has written to the Minister of Justice, David Ford, complaining about the report from the Police Ombudsman.
It has also said that it can no longer encourage its members to engage with the police watchdog.
Former Assistant Chief Constable, Raymond White, an executive member of the association said: “The determination that the police failed in their responsibilities to uphold Mr Dalton’s right to life was said to have been reached on the balance of probabilities, which are evidence based and drawn from all sources of information available.
The ombudsman has in the opinion of the association misdirected himself both as to fact and to the law
Raymond White NIRPOA
“It is this claim of being evidence based amongst others, which the NIRPOA seeks to show in a detailed analysis of the events leading up to the fatal explosion, is flawed.
“In the view of the association the lack of investigative rigour in the eight-year long inquiry resulted in facts, which were not relevant to the process, becoming an integral part of the alleged evidential package considered by the ombudsman.
“The outcome of this was a failure on the part of the ombudsman to apply the evidential test to the relevant facts - that those known to the police before the fatal incident or which reasonably should have been known to them.”
The association has called on the ombudsman to rescind its findings and introduce a legal mechanism for assessing evidence.
It is also calling for an independent appeals mechanism to be introduced for Police Ombudsman investigations.
Mr White added: “Until these conditions have been met, this association regrettably, can no longer encourage its members to engage with the Police Ombudsman in the investigation of historical incidents, where breaches of the European Convention on Human rights are alleged.
“For the past decade the association has been a consistent supporter of the principle of there being in place an independent and professional investigation body to examine complaints against the police and to this end NIRPOA has until now, consistently encouraged its members to cooperate in historical investigations so that the true facts, in such cases, are made known.”
The findings of our report stand and it will not be withdrawn.
Police Ombudsman's Office
In response the Police Ombudsman's Office said it was “extraordinary” the association would not be encouraging former police officers to participate in its investigations.
In a statement the organisation said: “The overarching objective of the police is to preserve life and protect property - this principle is well established.
“Our report clearly states that the police had in their possession reliable information that a booby-trap bomb had been placed in a location convenient to [the house].
“This is acknowledged by the retired officers.
“It is also clear that no attempt was made to warn the local community of the risks posed by a booby-trap device in a residential area."
It continued: “The Police Ombudsman’s Office is the lawful mechanism for investigating criminality and misconduct of police officers.
“It is extraordinary that the Retired Police Officers' Association will not encourage their members to participate as witnesses in investigations into the most serious of crimes
“This reinforces the need for the office to be able to compel officers to assist its investigations and to produce all documentation in their possession.
“Such powers have been recommended in the statutory five year review of the office, which is under consideration by the Minister of Justice.”