Published Wednesday, 26 September 2012
Raymond McCord Jnr was murdered in 1997. (© Pacemaker)
Lawyers for Vivienne McCord, whose son Raymond McCord Jr was beaten to death by a UVF gang headed by a police agent, claimed the process was tainted with illegality.
A judge ruled that their case has enough merit to be allowed to advance to a full hearing later this year.
Mr Justice Treacy said: "It raises issues of some importance and I consider it appropriate to grant leave (to apply for a judicial review)."
Mr McCord, a former RAF man, was found dead in a quarry just outside north Belfast in 1997.
His killing was at the centre of a damning report by former Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan which established evidence that rogue Special Branch officers colluded with a UVF unit responsible for up to 16 murders.
Mrs McCord fears that bringing ex-policemen back in to help with historical inquiries may thwart efforts to establish the full circumstances surrounding her son's death.
Outside the court she stressed the importance of the legal action to her family.
Rehiring former RUC officers means they could be in a position where they could impede the current investigation into the murder of my son.
Her team took legal action in a bid to halt the Chief Constable's policy of contracting former officers who left with redundancy packages under the Patten reforms to the force.
The court was told Mrs O'Loan's report identified a very high likelihood that those responsible for Mr McCord's killing were police informers.
Frank O'Donoghue QC, for Mrs McCord, argued it was wrong in principle to have former RUC officers come back into the PSNI to probe historical murders where RUC conduct is under investigation.
The court was told that these support staff brought in under a statutory scheme should only be involved in detention and escort duties.
Senior counsel for the Chief Constable, Tony McGleenan QC, contended that Mrs McCord should have first inquired whether any former RUC officers were involved in the investigation into her son's murder.
He claimed it was wrong to instead subject entire police employment practices to scrutiny, warning that, if the judicial review succeeded, it could result in police being "paralysed" in attempts to contract anyone for service work.
However, Mr Justice Treacy held that an arguable case had been established.
A full one-day hearing was listed for December, with the judge pointing out: "There is a degree of urgency in this case."