Northern Ireland: Statute of limitations would be 'utter betrayal' of victims

Northern Ireland’s Attorney General, John Larkin, QC, has said he supports the implementation of a statute of limitations on all criminal offences committed in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, as long as there is wider political support for it - a move which Amnesty International has called an “utter betrayal of victims’ fundamental rights to justice”.

Grainne Teggart, Amnesty’s Northern Ireland Campaigns Manager, said

“The UK Government must not legislate for impunity through a statute of limitations.

The effect of a statute of limitations would be to grant a blanket amnesty for human rights abuses committed by former members of the security forces. 

“To place perpetrators of crimes committed during the Troubles above the law would be an utter betrayal of victims’ fundamental right to justice.”

New Bill next week

On Wednesday, veterans minister Johnny Mercer is expected to introduce a Bill which is described as legislation to “protect” veterans from “vexatious legal claims”.

Last year, the publication of a consultation on Stormont House agreement mechanisms proposed to deal with past, found that a majority of the Northern Ireland public is opposed to legislating for impunity through a statute of limitations.

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