Written evidence submitted for Addressing the legacy of Northern Ireland's past: the Government's new proposals (LEG0011)

Conall Mallory, Sean Molloy, Colin Murray

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Abstract

Executive Summary

The lack of detail in respect of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland’s (SoSNI) legacy proposals makes effective engagement challenging. Given the intrinsic connection between truth recovery and reconciliation in Northern Ireland, if the proposal is to be taken forward then interested parties will need to be given an opportunity to respond to a much more detailed account of how it is to work. In particular, the relationship between the current proposal and the Stormont House Agreement (SHA) should be fully explained.

To date, the absence of a coherent approach to truth recovery in respect of the Northern Ireland conflict has led to the development of a patchwork of official mechanisms and victim-initiated responses. Although the creation of a single body with a joined-up approach may circumvent the need for some of these mechanisms, without a holistic commitment to truth recovery, investigation and, where necessary, prosecution, fractured efforts towards truth recovery are likely to continue.

We have significant concerns that the SoSNI’s current proposals would not comply with the Right to Life under Article 2 of the European Convention of Human Rights. Consideration will need to be given to how a single information recovery and investigative unit can be Article 2 compliant and can furnish its findings in a manner which promotes reconciliation and the interests of the families. If not, these proposals will do little to stem the rise of legacy litigation.

Original languageEnglish
Commissioning bodyHouse of Commons Northern Ireland Affairs Committee
Publication statusPublished - May 2020
Externally publishedYes

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