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Latest proposal on Legacy Bill tears up the law and makes a mockery of justice – Finucane

27 June, 2023 - by John Finucane MP

Sinn Féin MP John Finucane has condemned the latest attempt by the British government in its infamous Legacy Bill to close down access to the courts and legal remedies for hundreds of people illegally and unlawfully detained by the state.

The North Belfast MP said:

“Last night the British government announced its intention to bolt on yet another amendment to its already fatally flawed Legacy Bill which would prevent hundreds of people illegally and unlawfully interned from seeking legal redress for wrongful imprisonment.

“This latest addition to the British government’s infamous Legacy Bill, which will prevent victims of the conflict and their families from accessing criminal courts, inquests, human rights compliant investigations and civil proceedings, makes an absolute mockery of justice and claims that this Bill can promote reconciliation.

“Interning people without trial in the first place was shameful and it was used initially to target only one section of the community. 

“The British Supreme Court has ruled that the British government broke the law in illegally and unlawfully detaining hundreds of people during the early 1970s.

“When the state has broken the law there is an onus on that state both morally and legally to provide redress to those people who were unlawfully detained.

“Instead of righting this wrong, facing up to its legal responsibilities and accepting the judgment of its highest court, this British government is effectively tearing up the law, closing access to the courts while relentlessly pursuing amnesty for the actions of its forces in Ireland.

“The Legacy Bill is a travesty of justice, it should be scrapped. It has been rejected by victims and families, human rights experts, the UN, all the political parties on this island, as well as officials in the US and EU.

“The British government should scrap this legislation and get on with implementing the legacy mechanisms agreed at Stormont House by the two governments and political parties in 2014 in a human rights' compliant manner.”

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