Congress Leaders Urges Lords to Reconsider British Government Proposals.
Chairman Bill Keating of the Foreign Affairs Committee’s Europe Subcommittee and Ranking Member Brian Fitzpatrick has written to members of the House of Lords to oppose the British Government's proposals to end all judicial investigations into actions during the conflict and block victims from accessing the courts.
The bipartisan letter from 30 members of Congress stated,
“Specifically, we believe the Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill before the House of Lords threatens the progress achieved by the Good Friday Agreement and undermines the human rights of all individuals impacted by violence and potential crimes committed during the Troubles.”
The letter added that the Bill, “would do tremendous damage to the Good Friday Agreement as well as the rule of law.”
The letter urged, “colleagues in the House of Lords to consider alternative paths to provide real, tangible accountability for victims and their families and implore you to take every measure at your disposal to ensure this legislation does not preclude the delivery of justice and accountability in Northern Ireland.”
These proposals are expected to be heard in the Lords in September. The bill has been called, “fatally flawed”, by the government-appointed Human Rights Commissioner and is opposed by all parties and the Irish Government.
It is a unilateral action by the British Government that is opposed by victims groups and legal bodies.