NORTHERN IRELAND Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris has confirmed “significant amendments” to the Troubles Legacy Bill will address concerns raised around the controversial legislation.
The Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill seeks to limit prosecutions for crimes committed in Northern Ireland during the Troubles period.
The suggested law offers conditional immunity for those who cooperate with a proposed Independent Commission for Reconciliation and Information Recovery (ICRIR).
Critics of the Bill, which is currently making its way through parliament, claim it will block thousands of victims and families from getting truth and justice through the courts.
“This cruel and callous legislation is about one thing – cover up and letting British state forces who killed Irish citizens off the hook. It should be scrapped,” Sinn Féin MP John Finucane recently stated.
It was formally introduced into the House of Commons on May 16, 2022, where the Bill passed on July 4, 2022.
As of January 24, it was back in the House of Lords for its Committee stage hearing, which concluded on May 11.
The legislation is now at the Report Stage, with Lord Caine making amendments to the proposed law before it returns to the House of Lords later this month.
This week Mr Heaton-Harris has liaised with the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, Commissioner for Victims & Survivors, Ian Jeffers and the Commission for Victims and Survivors (NI).
Following those meetings, he confirmed: “The Government will soon table significant amendments to address concerns raised, including on the conduct of reviews, the independence of the ICRIR, and compliance with Convention rights.”