Tory assault on Good Friday Agreement - Adams
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD today warned that the British Conservative government’s plans to repeal the Human Rights Act is a direct attack on the Good Friday Agreement and the international Treaty that gives effect to it in law.
Speaking in the Dáil today, the Sinn Féin leader called on the Taoiseach Enda Kenna, as co-guarantor of the Agreement along with the British government, to urgently raise this matter with the British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said:
“Following their election victory last week, the Conservatives have said that they plan a fundamental change to human rights legislation, including repealing the current Human Rights Act and replacing it with a new Act.
“Part of their focus is to end what they describe as the ‘excessive influence of the European Convention on Human Rights’.
“Under the Tory’s plan, the ECHR would no longer be able to make binding decisions over the British Supreme Court or force the government to introduce laws to bring them into line with Europe.”
Teachta Adams warned that:
“The implications of the Tory plans to repeal the Human Rights Act and reject the current oversight role of the European Convention on Human Rights are enormous for the administration of government, for justice, policing, and equality in the north.
“It is also a direct and scandalous attack on the Good Friday Agreement and the international treaty signed by the British and Irish governments which gives legal affect to the Agreement.
“This would be a grievous breach of the Good Friday Agreement.
“Under the terms of the treaty between Ireland and the Britain, which incorporates the Good Friday Agreement into law, and is lodged with the United Nations, the British government is obliged to complete the incorporation into law in the north of the European Convention on Human Rights.
“The Agreement also commits to safeguards to ensure that the Assembly and public authorities in the north cannot infringe the European Convention on Human Rights.
“These safeguards also apply to policing.
“The Tory government proposal is a clear and significant breach of the Good Friday Agreement and of the International Treaty that underpins it. There is an onus on the Irish government as a co-guarantor of the Agreement to raise this matter as a matter of urgency with the British government.”