The Road to the Northern Ireland Troubles (Reconciliation and Legacy) Act 2023 – A narrative compendium of CAJ submissions
The controversial Northern Ireland Troubles (Reconciliation and Legacy) Act 2023 became law in September 2023, despite criticism both from within Northern Ireland and internationally.
The main effects of the legislation are broadly three-fold. The Act will:
- Shut down all the existing investigative and legal processes into legacy cases dealing with the Northern Ireland Conflict (1966-1998).
- Introduce a type of amnesty, in the form of a ‘conditional immunity scheme’ with a conspicuously low eligibility threshold.
- Set up a new temporary legacy body, the Independent Commission for Reconciliation and Information Retrieval (ICRIR), to ‘review’ certain legacy cases.
United Nations (UN) and Council of Europe (CoE) bodies have raised significant concerns that the Legacy Act is not compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), or other treaty based international obligations of the United Kingdom.
CAJ closely monitored the progress of the legislation as it passed through the UK Parliament. We worked with academic colleagues in the School of Law at Queen’s University Belfast to produce authoritative critiques of the proposals. This included regular CAJ submissions to the CoE Committee of Ministers, which meticulously documented developments throughout the process, including critiquing the numerous amendments in the House of Lords.
We have now produced a compendium of these submissions, bringing them all together in an easy to access format. You can download the compendium here.
To view CAJ’s full body of work on legacy in Norther Ireland, click here.