UN High Commissioner: Legacy Bill at variance with legal obligations

Volker Turk, UN Commisioner for Human Rights

UN High Commissioner says UK legacy Bill likely to be at variance with legal obligations to investigate and hold to account perpetrators. 

“RFJ welcome the statement from the High Commissioner.

It follows a long list of criticisms by international organisations and legal experts of the British government’s amnesty Bill.

Yesterday’s comments by British minister Ben Wallace, in Belfast, that the Bill will end the ‘merry-go-round’ of investigations and inquests were repugnant and a distortion of the facts.

He and his government have long passed the point of believing in their own propaganda.

The British government have clearly taken a decision to ignore international concern and criticisms instead acting like a pariah state.

Condemnation and criticisms of the Bill are beyond tipping point.

If this Bill passes into law then we will be at the point where the Irish government must act in defence of all victims and their rights in this part of our jurisdiction.

Key to defending victims’ rights and ensuring that the courts and rule of law are protected would involve initiating an inter-state case directly to the European Court against the UK’s legacy Bill of shame..

Such a challenge would also do away with all the hurdles that victims would face in taking a case and getting to the European Court saving years of hearings and challenges in domestic courts and the UK Supreme Court.

This would also be a humanitarian act on behalf of the many ageing victims for whom the British government want to run down the clock on.”ENDS