S459 to the Committee of Ministers from CAJ in relation to the supervision of the cases concerning the action of the security forces in Northern Ireland
This Rule 9 communication is for consideration at the 1273rd meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies in December 2016. CAJ has regularly made Rule 9 communications to the Committee of Ministers on the ‘McKerr group of cases’ that have charted the evolution of the ‘package of measures’ agreed to by the UK further to the above judgments.
In December 2014 the British Government published the Stormont House Agreement (SHA), the result of talks involving the parties in the Northern Ireland Executive and the British and Irish Governments. The SHA provided for a new set of institutions to deal with the legacy of the Northern Ireland conflict, including a new ‘Historical Investigations Unit – HIU’ to conduct Article 2 compliant investigations into conflict-related deaths. The SHA also provided for measures to maintain and make legacy inquests Article 2 compliant.
In our previous submission of April 20161 we entered into considerable detail that the UK government had delayed legislating for the establishment of the institutions under the Stormont House Agreement and had also delayed legacy inquests through the withholding of funding. These issues remain into October 2016. The Police Ombudsman has continued legacy work, however the work of the office is also held up by a withholding of necessary funding. This submission will provide further detail on these issues.