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Ní Chuilín move will help process of disclosure of conflict-related information – Hazzard

4 March, 2016 - by Chris Hazzard

Sinn Féin MLA Chris Hazzard has welcomed new rules which will come in to effect at the end of this month, which will allow private individuals confidential access to information contained in court or inquest files.

Chris Hazzard said these rules will assist families who have been trying to get information about the killings of their loved ones during the conflict.

Chris Hazzard said:

"Previously, highly sensitive and potentially distressing information from court or inquest files was being released to those who requested it under the Freedom of Information Act, meaning it was also placed in the public domain. 

“Clearly there is a need to be sensitive to family members and others impacted by incidents recorded in court and inquest files, which is why rules for obtaining such information have been set in place on a confidential basis. 

“The British Secretary of State Theresa Villiers has in the past tried to block the release of records of court proceedings and inquests which had already been heard in public.

“I am pleased therefore that an attempt by the Justice Minister David Ford to use a Judicial Review to block the new rules did not succeed today.

"This is good news for family members and others who are entitled to this information. 

"I want to commend Minister for Culture, Arts and Sports Caral Ni Chuilin who drafted the new rules for doing right by the families. 

“That is why these rules have been put in place and I hope they provide some comfort to those who want these documents in their pursuit of truth.”

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