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Human Rights debate a step forward - Kelly

27 January, 2016 - by Gerry Kelly

 Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly has welcomed the discussion held in UNISON head office last night on the implications of British Government’s proposed repeal of Human Rights Act (1998) which incorporated into Britain’s domestic law the rights contained with the European Convention of Human Rights..

 Mr Kelly said,

 “It is feared that the British Government’s proposed repeal of the Act and the imposition of a British Bill of Rights will lessen the protection afforded to citizens here.

 “Any such repeal would constitute a flagrant breach of the Good Friday Agreement and undermine the accountability mechanisms for our new policing dispensation, our governance safeguards and the remit of the Parades Commission as all such institutions are designed around the framework of the European Convention of Human Rights as provided by the Human Rights Act (1998).

 “Sinn Féin met recently with Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights to discuss the Human Rights Act and a Bill of Rights for the North and share his concerns over human rights protections for citizens here.

 “We have seen how the British Government has ignored the European protocols by refusing to progress requests relating to legacy issues by introducing ‘National Security’ as a pretext to blocking information being brought forward to investigations and inquests resulting in delays to families accessing the truth about the death of their loved ones.

 “Sinn Féin brought forward proposals during the recent negotiation to deal with these issues and the British Government must now move to not only resolve the issue but to resource fully all mechanisms with responsibility for legacy matters.

 “I welcome the event last night as a step in the right direction in identifying the needs for a comprehensive Bill of Rights for the North that will ensure full protections for all citizens.”

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