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NIHRC responds to Attorney General’s comments on dealing with the past

20 Nov 2013

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission has noted the Attorney General’s reported statement that there should be “no more inquests and no more prosecutions with respect to Troubles-related deaths.”
Human rights require that victims and survivors of the conflict are at the centre of any process to deal with the past. The Commission is therefore deeply concerned that the Attorney General has made a public statement without any apparent engagement with those most affected.
Those appointed by the state’ including the Attorney General’ have a duty to ensure that victims and survivors are not re-traumatised by their actions.
The right to investigation is required by domestic’ regional and international law. The possibility of prosecutions and of holding those responsible to account is a central element of human rights law.
John Corey’ Interim Chair of the NIHRC’ said: “In dealing with the past’ there can be no deviation from the rule of law. At a time when sensitive political discussions led by Dr Haass are ongoing’ the Attorney General’s action risks undermining the human rights of the people of Northern Ireland.”
ENDS
Further information:
For further information please contact Alice Neeson on: alice.neeson@nihrc.org’ (028) 9024 3987 (office)’ 0771 7731873 (mobile).
Notes to editors
1. The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission is an independent statutory body first proposed in the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement (1998) and established in 1999 by the Northern Ireland Act (1998). It is answerable to Parliament at Westminster