BETRAYING THE VICTIMS OF THE LEGACY OF THE CONFLICT AGAIN
KRW LAW LLP is instructed by a significant number of victims, relatives and survivors of the Conflict in the North of Ireland. On their behalf we use the law to obtain truth, justice and accountability. We represent those who have no other recourse but to the use the courts to obtain redress. This is because there no other effective mechanism to obtain the ends they seek.
A civil action can force discovery of evidence, a public law challenge can result in a ruling that a decision making process is flawed, an inquest can obtain information through disclosure. For our clients it is truth that is sought, truth that can establish accountability for why a loved one died during the Conflict and why a loss has had to be borne in ignorance or suspicion for too long.
KRW LAW LLP work on behalf of our clients with our colleagues in the NGOs and, like them, we would want to see a resolution to the toxic Legacy of the Conflict in our jurisdiction so that we can all move on with process of peace. But sadly this is not possible; until the Legacy of the Conflict is resolved for victims, who will not go quietly go away, there can be no resolution.
Respect for the Rule of Law and Human Rights are the foundations of our society in the North of Ireland enshrined within the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement 1998. Sadly, the British government continues to undermine these foundations through its failure to admit its responsibility during the Conflict clinging instead to the catch all immunity blanket of ‘National Security’ to seek cover from independent scrutiny and accountability.
The British government has failed continually to establish a truth seeking mechanism to resolve the Legacy of the Conflict which has collective support of the victims and the politicians and is established in accordance with demands of Human Rights and the Rule of Law. This is both an affront the diplomatic efforts sustained in recent years from Eames/Bradley to Haass/O’Sullivan and is a most egregious affront to victims and survivors.
The compromise agreement announced on Tuesday 17 November again betrays victims in failing to agree upon such a mechanism and a way forward on the Legacy. A flawed law may be forced through Westminster to establish a Historical Investigations Unit (HIU) fatally compromised by the British government’s imperative for secrecy on the grounds of national security. The HIU would then have to be contested and challenged and therefore our clients will be forced to return to court to battle for the truth. Again.
This is both an unsatisfactory and unsustainable position which KRW LAW LLP, on behalf of our clients, will continue to oppose through our commitment to Human Rights and the Rule of Law, without fear and without compromise.