A dark day for justice, as Legacy Act comes into force, says Farry

Today is a dark day in the history of justice, as the UK Government’s Legacy Act comes into force, Alliance Deputy Leader Stephen Farry MP has said.

Stephen Farry Legacy

The North Down MP was speaking at the commencement of the Act, which will halt inquests into Troubles-era inquests. Dr Farry said victims across the community will be feeling devastated as the law comes into effect.

“My thoughts with the commencement of this Act are with the victims and survivors of Troubles incidents, who will be feeling devastated as the Government proceeds with this disgraceful piece of legislation,” he said.

“People have been let down by the UK Government, which has stamped over the views of not only victims and their loved ones, but also the opinions of the political parties here. We have repeatedly said this legislation is deeply flawed, unworkable and at odds with the rule of law, and that remains the case.

“This legislation has inevitably been legally contested. The ruling of the High Court in Northern Ireland around the central immunity clause is welcome, and we anticipate a further negative ruling with the interstate case being taken by the Irish Government.

“We need to ensure victims of Troubles incidents are supported as we move forward. They will be feeling stress, anxiety and fear, all because of a flawed narrative of vexatious investigations, which is not true. In effect, this will be a de facto amnesty for perpetrators.

“Rarely does anything in Northern Ireland unite the vast majority of people and political parties but this issue has. Wednesday will be a dark day in the history of justice as this Act comes into effect. It is not too late and I repeat Alliance’s call to suspend it.

“Failing that, a new Government later this year needs to prioritise repealing it and replacing it with an alternative co-designed with local political parties and victims’ groups.”