Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill, Second Reading

The Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill proposes to end legal proceedings concerning Troubles-related conduct and provide conditional immunity from prosecution for those who cooperate with investigations conducted by a newly established Independent Commission for Reconciliation and Information Recovery. On 25 May 2022 I voted on the Bill at Second Reading. 

The new Commission would be responsible for reviewing deaths and other harmful conduct forming part of the Troubles and for publishing its findings. The Bill would also prevent civil claims for Troubles-related conduct and criminal prosecutions for offences not connected to death or serious injury, prevent future inquests into Troubles-related conduct and wind up ongoing inquests which have not reached an advanced stage, and initiate a programme of memorialisation of the Troubles.

Any approach to addressing the legacy of the Troubles must provide more benefits for victims than for those who committed acts of terror. This Bill does not meet that test. I voted against the Bill at Second Reading, which passed, Ayes: 285 and Noes: 208.