RTÉ has learned that the State Pathologist, Professor Marie Cassidy, launched a series of retrospective reviews into all the pathology cases undertaken by one of her former colleagues over a two-year period. 

The decision to launch the reviews follow what the Department of Justice said was a development in a court case, but declined to be drawn on the specifics.

Last month it emerged that a pathology report carried out by Dr Khalid Jaber was not peer-reviewed prior to being used in a 2013 murder trial.

It was the second case to be revealed in which Dr Jaber's report at a murder trial was not subject to a peer-review, contrary to Prof Cassidy's instruction that all reports required such a review.

The Justice Department, which handles media queries on the State Pathologist's behalf, declined to confirm whether the decision to carry out the reviews into Dr Jaber's work, over 2012 and 2013, related specifically to the peer-review issue.

Last month, the Director of Public Prosecutions Claire Loftus sought a retrial in the case of Colm Deely, who was convicted in 2013 for the murder of Deirdre McCarthy two years earlier.

Prior to seeking the retrial, the State had confirmed to Mr Deely's defence team that Dr Jaber's pathology report had not been peer-reviewed before going to trial.

The Deely case was the second murder trial in which the lack of a peer-review into Dr Jaber's work was raised as an issue.

In 2013, the trial of Michael Furlong for the alleged murder of Patrick Connors collapsed following the intervention of Prof Cassidy who wrote to the DPP to inform the prosecutor that, among other issues, Dr Jaber's pathology report into the death of Mr Connors had not been subject to the necessary peer-review.

The revelation that Prof Cassidy had launched the review into Dr Jaber's cases followed a series of questions by RTÉ's This Week programme to the Department of Justice.

However, the Department declined to give any details about the specific reason why the reviews were conducted, nor would they say how certain they were that all of Dr Jaber's other cases had been peer-reviewed.

They also declined to say when Prof Cassidy issued the instruction to her colleagues at the Office of State Pathology (OSP) regarding the peer reviewing of homicide cases, and how many cases Dr Jaber would have presented at trial since then.