Promoting Justice /
Protecting Rights

Combating Impunity

“Impunity” is the term used for a systemic failure to hold people, especially state agents, accountable for human rights violations. It is hugely destructive of the rule of law and erodes faith in the justice system and state institutions in general.

The longer it goes on, the more it poisons contemporary society, even when it relates to crimes of the past. A failure to hold a state to account for patterns of past human rights violations, fuels the risk that they will be repeated at home or abroad when similar circumstances arise. This is why impunity is a prime target of human rights activists throughout the world.

Latest press releases and publications

05
Aug

Submission to the Committee of Ministers in relation to the supervision of the cases concerning the action of the security forces in Northern Ireland (July 2022)

Our latest submission to the Committee of Ministers was drafted for consideration at the upcoming 1443rd meeting (September 2022) of the Ministers’ Deputies. It focuses on issues related to the deeply flawed Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill, which is currently progressing through the UK Parliament. Download the submission here. What is the Committee...
04
Jul

CAJ welcomes statement from Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights on legacy bill

CAJ has welcomed a statement from the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, released earlier today, which raises serious questions about compatibility of the UK’s legacy bill with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Commissioner Dunja Mijatović’s issued the statement following a five-day visit to the UK, including Belfast. The statement is available...
24
May

Academic and human rights experts publish initial response to Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill

Report finds that bill would be “unworkable”, in breach of the Good Friday Agreement and international human rights law and would not deliver for victims and survivors. The Model Bill Team – led by Professor Kieran McEvoy and made up of academics in the School of Law at Queen’s University Belfast and experts from CAJ...
24
May

Model Bill Team initial response to legacy and reconciliation bill

Comprised of experts from QUB and CAJ, the Model Bill Team has worked for almost a decade to find human rights compliant solutions to the legal and political challenges regarding dealing with the past in Northern Ireland. The group has analysed the Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill – which is currently on its...
17
May

CAJ outraged by UK legacy bill

The Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) has strongly criticised the UK government’s new legacy bill (as introduced into the UK Parliament today) and has called for it to be scrapped in favour of the prior proposals in the Stormont House Agreement. CAJ is highly critical of a number of aspects of the Northern...
10
May

CAJ statement on Queen’s Speech implications for Northern Ireland

CAJ raises serious concerns about the legacy commitments arising from the Queen’s Speech. Brian Gormally, CAJ Director, commented: “Today’s Queen’s Speech contains a commitment to bring forward legislation to ‘address the legacy of the past’. Details are scant, but it seems that all recourse to law for victims in relation to ‘incidents’ during the conflict...
07
Mar

Submission to the Committee of Ministers in relation to the supervision of the cases concerning the action of the security forces in Northern Ireland (February 2022)

Our latest submission to the Committee of Ministers was drafted for consideration at the 1428th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies, which is taking place between 8 to 10 March 2022. In the submission, we outline the UK’s continued failure to comply with its duty to investigate legacy deaths (under Article 2 of the European Convention...
07
Mar

Submission to the Five Year Review of the Police Ombudsman

CAJ has responded to the consultation on the five-year review of the powers of the Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland (OPONI). This review has taken place periodically since the the office was established two decades ago. We welcome the accessible nature of the Five Year Review document, and largely concur with recommendations...
15
Dec

UK Supreme Court quashes ‘irrational’ PSNI decision not to further investigate allegations UK Ministers authorised the use of torture in the ‘Hooded Men’ cases

The UK Supreme Court has found that the decision of the PSNI not to investigate an allegation that senior UK government ministers authorised the use of torture in the ‘Hooded Men’ cases was “irrational and falls to be quashed”. The judgment follows a judicial review challenge taken by CAJ on behalf of Mary McKenna, the...

Get involved!

Get into touch with CAJ

Donate

Help CAJ sustain their work

Become a member

Become an active part of CAJ