Judges face greater risk

Although the murder of Northern Ireland solicitor Rosemary Nelson was a disgrace which underlines the need for decommissioning by terrorist groups, I was appalled by your editorial "Brave lawyers standing up for the rule of law" (22 March), in which you make a number of serious and uncorroborated allegations against the RUC.

Let me remind you that the people who murdered Mrs Nelson were not, as you insinuate, the RUC, but terrorist thugs.

The risks of being a defence lawyer acting for suspected IRA terrorists are nothing compared with the risks of being a judge, a magistrate or a policeman in that troubled province.

What about the judges and magistrates who have been killed by the IRA? What about the law lecturer Edgar Graham who was murdered by the IRA for the "crime" of being a Young Unionist activist? Were these people not upholding the rule of law? Or were they, in the words of Conor Cruise O'Brien, "the wrong sort of dead"?

Simon McIlwaine

Sutton, Surrey