CAJ welcomes new human rights resolution from European ministersJune 8, 2023
‘Serious concern’ NI legacy bill remains incompatible with the ECHR
CAJ has welcomed the Interim Resolution (1) from the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe published today (8 June 2023). The resolution records ‘serious concern’ that there has been no tangible progress to address concerns the legacy bill is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
In particular, the Committee of Ministers has called on the UK authorities to reconsider the proposed amnesty scheme and the shutting down of legacy inquests.
Concerns of incompatibility with the ECHR were also raised regarding the limited powers and independence of the new legacy body that would be established by the Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy & Reconciliation) Bill, the Independent Commission for Reconciliation and Information Recovery (ICRIR).
The bill is currently in its final stages in the House of Lords.
Daniel Holder, Director of the Belfast-based Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) welcoming the Interim Resolution said: “The spin from the Northern Ireland Office on amendments to the legacy bill is clearly fooling nobody in the international community. The UK authorities, who tried to get this Resolution put back, will understand its significance to bolstering the inevitable legal challenges against this bill.”
CAJ’s latest submission to the Committee of Ministers is available here. Please direct any media enquiries to Robyn Scott, Communications and Equality Coalition Coordinator, on email@example.com or 028 9031 6000.
What is the Council of Europe?
The Council of Europe is the 46-nation international body established to maintain democracy and the rule of law in Europe and oversees compliance with judgements of the European Court of Human Rights. The Council of Europe should not be confused with the EU and is an entirely separate body. The UK is a founder member state of the Council of Europe.
The Committee of Ministers is the decision-making body of the Council of Europe. Its functions include examining the execution of judgments made by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in a series of cases in which states have been found to have committed human rights violations. CAJ regularly makes submissions the Committee of Ministers on the ‘McKerr group of cases’ concerning the actions of the security forces in the 1980s and 1990s in Northern Ireland.