The case has been lost.

The Court refused to apply the presumption in favour of a public inquiry developed in the earlier case of Wagstaff (Shipman).

It confined all the extra-judicial statements of when it is appropriate to order a public inquiry to their own facts.

It assumed that the Secretary of State had taken all relevant considerations into account.

It said that the Human Rights Convention (Article 10) did not confer any right to a public inquiry.

It said that the Secretary of State's decision was at the borderline of what was justiciable and that it was pre-eminently a political decision.

And that the remedy of the public if it didn't like the decision was through the ballot-box, not the Courts.

Lord Justice Simon Brown added in his ruling: "I think it important, however, that in dismissing these applications the court does not give the impression that it itself regards the decision to hold the Lessons Learned Inquiry in closed session as necessarily the 'right' decision." He said it was not for the court to decide whether it was wise or unwise but whether it was open to the Government to make.

"It is, to my mind, pre-eminently a political decision and one for which the Government will ultimately have to answer at the ballot box."

Objectors had contended there was no substitute for a much-needed and widely called-for public inquiry which was the key to restoration of confidence among members of the rural community.

At least, the current inquiry conducted by Dr Iain Anderson should have been full and open, it was claimed.