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British government must meet commitments on inquests – Hazzard

22 October, 2015 - by Chris Hazzard

Sinn Féin MLA Chris Hazzard has said the British government should live up to its responsibilities to fund legacy inquests. 

Mr Hazzard said; 

"The comments of Lord Chief Justice Declan Morgan at the Victims and Survivors Forum today will be given a cautious welcome by families seeking the truth about what happened to their loved ones. 

"Declan Morgan confirmed today that preliminary hearings for all legacy cases will be scheduled for January 2016 to access the readiness of each case. 

"He also said a High Court Judge will be appointed to deal with the most complex cases. 

"It is also welcome that Declan Morgan has made it clear that a 'visible political commitment from Westminster' is required. 

"The British government has repeatedly put obstacles in the path of families seeking the truth. 

"They have tried to hide behind excuses about cost. So it is important that they listen to the words of the Lord Chief Justice and properly resource the coronial process so that legacy inquests can go ahead as soon as possible. 

"Britain, as a result of its direct role in the conflict, has a responsibility to fund these legacy inquests. 

"Some of these families have been waiting for up to 40 years for the truth and they should not have to wait any longer. 

"All of this underscores the need to reach agreement on dealing with the past that meets the needs of victims and survivors and is compliant with Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights.”

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