A Northern Ireland High Court challenge to the British government's refusal to hold a public inquiry into the murder of solicitor Pat Finucane will be heard in December.

The lawyer's widow, Geraldine, is seeking to judicially review the decision not to order a full, independent probe into the killing.

Judge Mr Justice Stephens today agreed to set aside a full week for the case.

Mr Finucane was shot dead by the Ulster Freedom Fighters in front of his wife and children at their north Belfast home in February 1989.

His assassination has been surrounded by claims of security force collusion with the loyalist killers.

In December 2012, a report by lawyer Sir Desmond de Silva confirmed agents of the state were involved in the murder and that it should have been prevented.

However, it concluded there had been "no overarching state conspiracy".

The Finucane family have rejected the findings as a sham and a whitewash.