Sunak's Legal Battle: Addressing Irish Opposition to Troubles Law in ECHR
Sunak's Legal Battle: Addres...
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Sunak's Legal Battle: Addressing Irish Opposition to Troubles Law in ECHR

20 December 2023
1 min.
Sunak's Legal Battle: Addressing Irish Opposition to Troubles Law in ECHR

Legacy Act Clash

The UK Government staunchly opposes Ireland's legal challenge to the Legacy Act — a legislation offering conditional immunity to individuals from the Troubles era. The escalating tensions between the two nations have brought the dispute to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris rebukes Ireland's action, labeling it as unnecessary and misguided. Ireland argues at the ECHR that the Act violates human rights law, making this a rare inter-state case.

Effective September 18, 2023, the Legacy Bill introduces conditional immunity for both sides in the conflict, stirring concerns about justice for IRA and British forces victims. Despite opposition, it establishes a reconciliation commission

Deputy Prime Minister Micheál Martin justifies the legal action while expressing regret for its necessity. He points to the UK's unilateral enactment, leaving Ireland with no political resolution. Accusing Westminster of a "unilateral" approach, Martin asserts that the UK proceeded despite objections from the entire island of Ireland.

New ECHR decision halts fresh investigations and legal proceedings, granting amnesty for Troubles-era incidents. Ireland's second time challenging the UK in Strasbourg; in the 1970s, ECHR backed Ireland, citing "inhuman treatment" by the UK.

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