Mark Thompson – thoughts on current state of play for SHA

RFJ's Director Mark Thompson
RFJ's Director Mark Thompson
RFJ’s Director Mark Thompson

We have advocated for and supported an Article 2 compliant investigative mechanism for all families, the vast majority of whom currently have no process whatsoever to independently investigate the killing of a loved one/s.

In the proposals published in Dec 2014, re the SHA legacy section, it clearly sets out a framework for an Art 2 investigative mechanism via the HIU. This was something we cautiously welcomed, noting that the legislation would ultimately determine what this looked like and we are a way off from that point as yet. And on paper it was a much better process than the HET.
The policy paper published yesterday, in advance of draft legislation, sets out that process however there are concerns regarding the role of the SoS in terms of the disclosure and publication of information around ‘national security’ and so this is an area we are currently examining and to which we have sought external legal advice.
Relatives for Justice are keen to see the implementation of a proper investigative mechanism in which families can have trust, confidence and faith in and we will continue to work to ensure that this is the case.
It would be wrong, if not illegal, for an investigative unit to conduct criminal investigations into everyone involved in the conflict yet when concerning the activities of the state’s armed forces and intelligence agencies a SoS could exercise a power to shield their actions.
So we would urge more work around getting the process right by all those involved in the current talks.