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British Government urged to reconsider 'Legacy' Bill - Senator Paul Gavan

4 May, 2023 - by Paul Gavan

The British Government has been urged to reconsider their so-called Legacy Bill by the Committee of Ministers in the Council of Europe.

Responding to a question posed by Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan, Icelandic Foreign Minister Thórdís Kolbrún Reykfjord Gylfadóttir, representing the Committee of Ministers, said that they were closely examining the Bill.

Speaking after the exchange which took place in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Senator Gavan said:

"In response to my question, Minister Gylfadóttir expressed the Committee’s 'serious concerns' regarding the Bill stating that it may not be in compliance with the European Convention (of Human Rights) and will not enable restitution for victims.

"The Minister urged the British government to take steps to allay concerns regarding the Bill before the next meeting of the Committee of Ministers, which is due to take place on June 8th.

"She also agreed with me that significant parts of the Good Friday Agreement have yet to be implemented. 

“This was a very clear message from the Committee of Ministers to the British Government - that they need to take action regarding this Bill of Shame, and I am very satisfied with their response.

"The obvious course of action to take is to withdraw the Bill, which does not command the support of any political party across our country.

“This Bill of Shame which would, uniquely in the world and against all principles of domestic and international law, close down all routes to justice for people bereaved in the conflict should now be shelved without further delay.”

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