In the spring of 2016 Relatives for Justice, the Committee on the Administration of Justice, the Pat Finucane Centre and Queens University academics Prof Kieran McEvoy and Dr Anna Bryson produced proposals to the British and Irish governments on the subject of “national security”.
This was a response to the political impasse which has to date frustrated efforts to implement measures to deal with the past as contained in the Stormont House Agreement. An impasse referred to by the Irish minister for foreign affairs as “Britain’s smothering blanket of national security”.
The proposals are not a first choice for any of the parties involved and are a stretch in the difficult journey of families’ right to independent human rights compliant truth recovery mechanisms. They are an honest attempt to realise a mechanism in the lifetimes of those who have suffered, while recognising that they are not an ideal scenario for any of us.
Despite submitting these proposals to the governments last May, our collective has not received a response from the British Government and the past remains an area of contest and unresolved. Families continue to seek resolution and their rights realised.
While talks on the past continue between the two governments and the political parties the collective decided to make this previously confidential set of proposals public in Queens University last week, in the hope that public attention to the matter may assist in a political realisation that this blockage can be overcome and families must be supported to access their rights to truth and justice.
The proposals can be found here Independent Mechanism to Oversee Redactions for Dealing with the Past 23rd May Final