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Christopher Stanley, Litigation Consultant, KRW LAW LLP, Belfast.[i]


Christopher Stanley, Litigation Consultant, KRW LAW LLP, Belfast.[i]




Christopher Stanley, Litigation Consultant, KRW LAW LLP, Belfast.[i]

Earlier this year Village published my comment THE LEGACY OF THE CONFLICT: MR LEWIS’S MODEST PROPOSAL – Village Magazine. This comment concerned the following:

“On 14 July 2021 Her Majesty’s Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the Right Honourable Brandon Lewis MP (a lawyer by trade), made a statement in the House of Commons and his office published a Modest Proposal: ‘Addressing the Legacy of Northern Ireland’s Past’ (CP498). It  is fair to say that Mr Lewis’s Modest Proposal created a backlash within the community after its publication.”

As the UK’s Parliament is now in session it is appropriate to update readers of Village on the progress of Mr Lewis’s Modest Proposals.

Those Modest Proposals: The Draftsman Cometh

As of today (26 October 2021) the British government has yet to publish its proposed legislation to “Address the Legacy of Northern Ireland’s Past”. There is still no prospect that there will be a public consultation before the introduction of legislation as it was introduced as a White Paper which means the government is not obliged to consult on the contents as opposed to a Green Paper. Mr Lewis made this point clear in his most recent oral evidence session to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee (NIAC) on 27 October 2021: “Let us be clear: this was not a formal consultation in that sense. This was a Command Paper.” (last accessed 2 November 2021)

In the UK there has been cross-party condemnation of the approach of the British government on this issue.

There has also been condemnation from politicians in Ireland and USA and from international organisations including the European Human Rights Commissioner and the United Nations Special Rapporteurs.

For example:

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights has warned that the proposals are “indistinguishable from a blanket unconditional amnesty for those not yet convicted” and “would undermine human rights protections and cut off avenues to justice for victims and their families”.

The relevant UN special rapporteurs have also expressed their concern regarding the proposals, which in their view would place the United Kingdom “in flagrant violation” of its international obligations.

The Ad Hoc Committee to Protect the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) of the United States Senate wrote to the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on 8 September 2021:

“We find this proposal to be at odds with both the spirit and architecture of the Good Friday Agreement. It would abrogate the hard-won compromise regarding legacy issues in the NDNA and appears to us to represent a significant breach of several international human rights agreements to which the UK is a party. Equally important, the cross-community opposition to the current proposal in Northern Ireland should be enough to signal that this points not to reconciliation, but instead to continuing division there.

Painful as it is, enduring reconciliation is dependent on accountability and transparency with respect to all participants in Troubles-related violence. There is no shortcut, and the GFA does not countenance one. It is tragic that so many years have been wasted with obfuscation and legal wrangling, but that does not justify abandoning the commitments made by the UK government to see the process through.

While the GFA does not impose specific obligations with respect to legacy, it does mandate that both state parties observe and implement the European Convention on Human Rights. Toward this end, both governments are required to incorporate the European Convention into domestic law. The UK in particular must provide for “direct access to the courts, and remedies for breach of the Convention.” The UK addressed these duties domestically with the Human Rights Act of 1998. As a matter of international law, the UK has a double obligation to adhere to the European Convention, first as a party to that treaty, and second, through the GFA. Central to those protections under the European Convention is the right to life, set out in Article 2.” Ad-Hoc-Comm-letter-to-PM-on-Amnesty-Proposal-090821.pdf ( (last accessed 20 October 2021)

Dear Strasbourg: Keep off our Grass

On 18 October 2021 the Secretary of State wrote to Clare Ovey of Department for the Execution of Judgments of the ECHR regarding the forthcoming review of the McKerr group of judgments by the Secretariat of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

In his initial response he states:

“The UK Government is committed to dealing with legacy issues in a way that supports information recovery and reconciliation, complies with international human rights obligations, and responds to the needs of individual victims and survivors, as well as society as a whole.”

These Modest Proposals are clear evidence that this is not the commitment of the British government. The Modest Proposals offend and breach international human rights obligations and do not respond to the needs of relatives of victims and survivors.

“The UKG proposals follow on from the principles set out in the Stormont House Agreement, while attempting to address the implementation problems within that agreement.”

They do not follow the principles in the Stormont House Agreement 2014 (SHA 2014)

“We think the best way to help Northern Ireland move towards reconciliation is through information recovery rather than an adversarial court process. It is therefore proposed that a statute of limitations would apply equally to all Troubles-related incidents.”

“A meeting of the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (BIIGC) took place at Dublin Castle on 24 June 2021 . At this meeting the UK and Irish Governments agreed there was a need for a ‘process of intensive engagement’ with the Northern Ireland parties and others on legacy issues. This would build on previous discussions, take account of the views of all participants and include consideration of new proposals which the UK Government intended to bring forward.”

MPs have confirmed to relatives of victims and survivors of the Conflict that NO ‘process of intensive engagement’ has occurred since 24 June 2021. As previously noted there has been no consultation.

“Annex B of the Command Paper sets out the previous attempts which have been made since 1998. None of these have garnered cross-community support.”

The SHA 2014 had both cross-party and cross-border support (save for the Ulster Unionist party – there are no Ulster Unionist MPs in the House of Commons and two Ulster Unionist members of the House of Lords)

The Secretary of State notes the ‘adversarial court process’. Criminal justice mechanism associated with the Legacy of the Conflict and Civil litigation are only elements of the current mechanisms for investigating the Legacy of the Conflict.

Criminal justice in terms of decision to prosecute (taken by independent law officers) are minimal.

Civil litigation taken by relatives of victims has developed to address the human rights deficit created by the failure of successive British governments to implement a human rights compliant mechanism to investigate Conflict-related human rights violations.

These Modest Proposals do nothing to address that deficit and in fact would only widen it.

It is ironic that reconciliation by way truth recovery is relied upon  in these Modest Proposals by a British government that contests every application for discovery in civil litigation, every application for disclosure in Legacy inquests and every Freedom of Information request on the spurious ground of National Security.

If National Security (never defined) does exist then its existence should be to protect the Rule of Law and secure democratic principles core to which is requirement for transparency and openness from those who govern. It cannot be deployed as a blanket response to withhold information which might assist truth-recovery processes in the name of the public interest (never defined).

“While aspects of the practical independence of the PSNI to investigate certain deaths is the subject of litigation before the UK Supreme Court, we do not accept any claim that the PSNI is incapable of investigating any death where there are allegations of State involvement.”

“In those cases where they are unable to demonstrate this independence, legislation ensures that independent police officers from a Great Britain police service can be appointed to carry out an investigation.”

This is despite judicial criticism of the independence of the PSNI and other police forces leading to the establishment of a force within a force – Operation Kenova.

0900001680a43c4d.pdf (last accessed 21 October 2021)

To Reprise: Objection, Objection!

To reprise the objections to these Modest Proposals:

  • Until these Modest Proposals the Birmingham Pub Bombings 1974 and other Northern Conflict-related terror attacks in Great Britain were out-with the GFA and subsequent Legacy-arrangements. In addition, the Omagh Bombing of 1998 (‘the first atrocity of the peace’) was similarly out-with the GFA until these Modest Proposals.


  • Regarding the Omagh Bombing 1998 and the murder of Patrick Finucane 1989, recent judgments have advised Article 2 ECHR compliant investigations be established.


  • Relatives of victims and survivors seek justice, truth and accountability. These Modest Proposals would deny access to justice, truth and accountability.


  • These Modest Proposals offend the Human Rights Act 1998 which gives effect to the ECHR. Specifically, the Article 2 (right to life) demand for an effective and independent investigation following a breach or violation of that right.


As Ian Paisley Jnr MP remarked during the most recent NIAC evidence session on 27 October 2021:


“You accept that, if you change the law in line with your proposals, it changes the standard in Northern Ireland and how it applies. That does not make you compliant with international standards. It just means that you have changed the law and how it operates. Therefore, it is a breach of article 2. It is certainly a breach of article 6, because fair trials are removed, in terms of the international standard of a fair trial. If you cannot take a person to trial, article 6 is breached. Then you breach article 17 in terms of abusing the rights of someone to have a fair trial. It is not just about article 2; it is about the entire thrust of the convention. Do you not recognise that this is potentially putting a coach and horses through the European Convention, which you are signed up to, on something which the European Council has said in writing to you that it is very concerned about?” (Q 338) (last accessed 2 November 2021)


Stephen Farry MP during the same session noted:


“My understanding and the understanding that I have had from numerous legal experts in Northern Ireland, including prosecutors, is that for an investigation of any nature to be compliant with article 2, at the very least it has to have the theoretical possibility of a prosecution being taken and, if it does not have the prospect of a prosecution being taken, it cannot be an article 2-compliant investigation. That is the central point under which many commentators think that the Government’s current Command Paper proposals will become unstuck in terms of the European Convention on Human Rights.” (Q 360) (last accessed 2 November 2021)


  • These Modest Proposals offend international human rights obligations imposed upon by the British government as a signatory to a number of relevant UN Conventions in addition to the British government’s commitments under the GFA.


  • These Modest Proposals undermine democracy and the Rule of Law, the fundamental right of access to justice secured through the Common Law.


  • Whilst relatives of victims and survivors of the Conflict in Northern Ireland may have different expectations there is an accepted right to have access to justice (by way of criminal process or civil litigation) and the Rule of Law to be upheld. These Modest Proposals do not reflect these fundamental principles.


  • These Modest Proposal seek to deliver truth for relatives and survivors. They will not. It will further withhold truth because there will be no effective and independent form of investigation.


  • These Modest Proposals will establish a hierarchy of victims contrary to existing legislation (The Victims and Survivors (Northern Ireland) Order 2006) through the option of a de facto amnesty for perpetrators by way of a Statute of Limitations. There will therefore be an imposed moral equivalence between perpetrators of Conflict related offences including, obviously murder, whether by paramilitaries and members of the British Security Forces, whether in uniform of not (including agents and informers).


  • These Modest Proposals which will be divisive for a society in transition from conflict to peace and in a fragile state undermined by the continued threat of dissident violence.


As the Chair of NIAC pointed out to Mr Lewis on 27 October 2021 during the oral evidence session:


“The younger generation could turn around and say, “We are passionate about issue X, Y or Z. This is a political issue. We are not getting through to our political masters. We are going to resort to violence, mayhem, whatever. Do not worry. As long as we keep our heads down long enough, we will somehow or another, over a period of time, find that all of our sins are washed way and we will never have a day in court” (Q 339) (last accessed 2 November 2021)


The Statute of Limitations could be interpreted by some dissidents as a get out of jail card for future violent protest.


  • There is no evidence that an amnesty (de facto or not) will encourage perpetrators to come forward and step into the archival confessional.


  • These Modest Proposals seeks to set out what is ‘best for’ relative of victims and survivors but is not in their best interest: it is in the interest of the British government to lock down the past in Northern Ireland and impose a state-endorsed narrative.


  • These Modest Proposals conflate the ‘protection’ of military veterans from ‘vexatious’ prosecution with the demand to seek truth and justice from those responsible for the thousands of deaths and injuries by way of an amnesty by way of a Statute of Limitations.


  • These Modest Proposals are slight on detail save on what the British government wants to end in terms of truth-recovery mechanisms including criminal justice and human rights compliant investigations and inquests and access to justice in the civil courts to secure discovery and disclosure of contested material which state agencies always opposes at public expense.


As Clare Hanna MP remarked during the most recent NIAC evidence session on 27 October 2021:


“Claire Hanna: In terms of state organisations, which again have not been forthcoming with information, people are rightly suspicious that the IRB you propose will be toothless. Would you commit to giving it the powers that were envisaged for the HIU under the Stormont House agreement? I mean the power to search, to arrest and to have access to intelligence. Again, the pattern over the decades has been that intelligence information is suppressed. Everything has this tag of national security. Would you commit to giving the body that you propose those powers, as were envisaged under the Stormont House agreement?


Brandon Lewis: On the basis that, as I said earlier on, we have not made final decisions on some of the issues around this, I am not going to give a commitment on anything. (Q 354)” (last accessed 2 November 2021)


  • These Modest Proposals are premised on flawed facts and flawed assumptions regarding the needs of relatives of victims and survivors of the Conflict.

For example, the government claims to have had  “conversations         particularly across victims’ groups and civic society, as well as the political        parties, earlier this year.” There is no evidence of this. The opposition claims          that conversations have taken place ‘behind closed doors” (last accessed 2     November 2021); see also Brandon Lewis ‘is scapegoating us for his failings          on legacy,’ says Wave’s Alan McBride – (last      accessed 2 November 2021).

For example, Mr Lewis has recently stated that “It is a matter of fact that   the criminal justice system and the Public Prosecution Service are          independent and make their own decisions. That is not the point I am          making. The point I am making is that the process around how criminal       justice works, particularly with the bar around beyond reasonable doubt,        means that we are seeing cases consistently collapse or not be taken forward in the first place in a way that would not necessarily be the case if     it was on the balance of probabilities.” (response to Q 319) (last accessed 2     November 2021)

As I have noted criminal justice in terms of prosecutions is only a      minimal part of of the Legacy out-workings. Decisions regarding          prosecutions relating to Conflict-related offences are made by independent      lawmakers applying agreed guidelines and regulations including evidential          thresholds.

As has been pointed out by the Chair of NIAC to Mr Lewis at the   most recent evidence session on 27 October 2021:

“Chair: Secretary of State, allegations may be vexatious. In the initial         investigations, if they were vexatious, they would never see the light of day          in court. It is slightly abusive language, is it not, or a misuse of language, to refer to vexatious cases? Allegations may be vexatious, but the initial   investigations would weed those out.” (Q 322)

In terms of creating a ‘hierarchy’ of perpetrators, which these Modest        Proposals would remove by way of a Statute of Limitations as a de facto    amnesty, it is clear that Mr Lewis cannot maintain the veracity of his remark    on moral equivalence:

“This is also about recognising that, following the Belfast/Good Friday   agreement, whatever we do has to apply across the board. That is the          reality of where we are. We are in no way—I said this on the Floor of the       House—accepting that there is an equivalence between people who went out courageously to defend people with the people who committed terrorist atrocities, from whichever angle they were doing it. Those people are     terrorists who sought to both terrorise communities and kill people. There      is no point at which I and the Government would ever accept there is a     moral equivalence there. There just is not.” (Q 355) (last accessed 2     November 2021)

The Alternative: The Stormont House Agreement 2014 [sans the UUP]

The British government has apparently suggested that, out-with any consultation process, what other alternatives there are.

In his evidence to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee on 23 June 2021 Mr Lewis engaged on the SHA with Ian Paisley Jnr MP

“Ian Paisley: There are some people, of course, clinging to the title of Stormont House agreement as some sort of totem that is the only way forward. The fact of life, from where the Government are, is that it has zero traction and is therefore dead.

Brandon Lewis: As I have said before a number of times, Stormont House was 2014. If it was deliverable in the format that was discussed around 2014, it would have been done by now.” (Question 183) (last accessed 28 October 2021)

In his most recent evidence to NIAC on 27 October 2021 Mr Lewis spoke against on the SHA:

“The big change in there that people are focused on is the change in terms of criminal justice. We are seven years from when Stormont House was sat down and agreed in 2014. As Mr Farry outlined yesterday, even two years on from NDNA things have changed, and we should be bearing in mind what has happened. In that period, we have seen cases collapse; we have seen the outcome of things that have been through HET and then collapsed, as I outlined a few moments ago. There are also lessons to learn from what Operation Kenova has delivered and is delivering. Things have moved on. There is also the fact that there were issues with Stormont House in terms of it not being delivered, and there is a reason for that.”

“Chair: If I can paraphrase, what you look to be proposing is a Stormont House agreement with an overlay of realpolitik.

Brandon Lewis: That is a fair assessment.” (last accessed 2 November 2021)

Yes but, No But …

“New Decade, New Approach” January 2020

“16. As part of the Government’s wider legislative agenda, the Government will, within 100 days, publish and introduce legislation in the UK Parliament to implement the Stormont House Agreement, to address Northern Ireland legacy issues.”

2020-01-08_a_new_decade__a_new_approach.pdf ( (last accessed 29 October 2021)

Within those 100 days a new Permanent Secretary was placed in NIO:

“Madeleine Alessandri CMG Permanent Secretary at Northern Ireland Office” Madeleine Alessandri CMG – GOV.UK ( (last accessed 28 October 2021)


“Madeleine Alessandri CMG was the UK Deputy National Security Advisor and Prime Minister’s Adviser on National Resilience and Security. She joined government service in 1988 and has held a wide variety of positions in the Diplomatic Service and in National Security both in the UK and overseas.”

As Clare Hanna noted on the 27 October 20201 oral evidence session of NIAC:

“Again, the pattern over the decades has been that intelligence information is suppressed. Everything has this tag of national security.”

“If this is really about truth recovery and not about stopping the embarrassment of people who were engaged in a very dirty war?”

The SHA 2014 offered and offers an alternative to these Modest Proposal. The Stormont House Agreement Model Bill offered and continues to offer an agreed set of institutions and mechanisms to address the Legacy of the Conflict in Northern Ireland, preserve the jurisdiction of Conflict-related Legacy inquests and the right to access justice and it commanded both cross-border and cross-party support (sans the Ulster Unionist Party).

If it was legislated for in a manner compliant with human rights standards and norms, with guarantees independence and non-state interference and with powers to compel witnesses and evidence, the SHA would be an acceptable form of victim-centred investigation to many relatives of victims and survivors who would want to engage with it.

100 Days: The Conservative Manifesto Commitment

The Conservative made the following Commitment in its 2019 Manifesto:

“We will continue to seek better ways of dealing with legacy issues that provide better outcomes for victims and survivors and do more to give veterans the protections they deserve” (page 45) 5dda924905da587992a064ba_Conservative 2019 Manifesto.pdf ( (last accessed 20 October 2021)


On 20 January 2020 the British government published “New Decade, New Approach”

That document contained the following commitment made by both the British and the Irish government’s:

“16. As part of the Government’s wider legislative agenda, the Government will, within 100 days, publish and introduce legislation in the UK Parliament to implement the Stormont House Agreement, to address Northern Ireland legacy issues. (page 48)

The Irish government committed to:

“The Government affirms its commitment to working with the UK Government to support the establishment of the Stormont House Agreement legacy institutions as a matter of urgency, including by introducing necessary implementing legislation in the Oireachtas, to deal with the legacy of the Troubles and support reconciliation, meeting the legitimate needs and expectations of victims and survivors.” (page 62 our emphasis)

(2020-01-08_a_new_decade__a_new_approach.pdf ( (last accessed 20 October 2021).

Between 20 January 2020 and 14 July 2021 British government policy seismically  shifted on the issue of the Legacy of the Conflict in Northern Ireland and the status and credibility of that Manifesto Commitment must now be called into doubt.

The Seanad Eireann robustly condemned the British governments Modest Proposal on 14 October 2021:

“That Seanad Éireann totally rejects the British Government’s proposals for ‘dealing with the past’ including amnesties for those who committed murder. No individual, group, organisation or State forces/agents can be immune from prosecution. Investigations, prosecutions, inquests and civil actions cannot be abolished and due process must take place.”

In response to the motion, the Irish government said:

“It is clear this House shares the unanimous view of the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Government that the British Government proposals cannot be the basis of a way forward on the legacy of the conflict. It is an issue which we know to be of profound personal importance to many families across this island – North and South – and has touched the lives of many more and continues to impact us deeply as a society. I am pleased to respond, on behalf of the Government, and speak to the importance of this motion.”

“It has been the consistent position of the Government since 2014 that the Stormont House Agreement is the way forward in addressing the painful legacy of the Troubles. It was agreed by the political parties in Northern Ireland and both Governments after intensive negotiations, with exception of the Ulster Unionist Party which did not support it at the time and gave its reasons. It set out a fair and balanced framework for addressing these deeply sensitive and complex issues. That agreement allowed for proper independent investigations and prosecutions, where possible. It also proposed the establishment of an independent international mechanism so that people could come forward and say what they knew, without that information being used against them in court. It also allowed for oral history initiatives and acknowledgement in an effort to move reconciliation forward. Crucially, it is built on the core principles of the pursuit of justice and information recovery and support for the rule of law.”

NB: “On that note, it would be a good idea to send this motion and an update to every Member of the House of Lords which will also have a say in this.”

British Government Legacy Proposals: Motion – Seanad Éireann (26th Seanad) – Wednesday, 13 Oct 2021 – Houses of the Oireachtas (last accessed 20 October 2021)

Whigs on the Green: The Salisbury Doctrine

“For a convention to work properly, however, there must be a shared understanding of what it means. A contested convention is not a convention at all.” Joint Committee on Conventions, Conventions of the UK Parliament, 3 November 2006, HL Paper 265-1 of session 2005–2006, page 3 at pages 31 – 32

I have mentioned the Conservative Manifesto Commitment on the Legacy issue because of the House of Lords and the Salisbury Doctrine:

“The Salisbury Doctrine, or “Convention” as it is sometimes called, emerged from the working arrangements reached during the Labour Government of 1945-51, when the fifth Marquess of Salisbury was the Leader of the Conservative Opposition in the Lords. The Convention ensures that major Government Bills can get through the Lords when the Government of the day has no majority in the Lords. In practice, it means that the Lords does not try to vote down at second or third reading, a Government Bill mentioned in an election manifesto.” (Salisbury Doctrine – UK Parliament) (last accessed 20 October 2021)

“The House of Lords had a referendal function: it had the duty of referring measures to the electorate or nation whenever important questions arose and there was ground for believing that the Government, resting on the House of Commons, lacked a mandate for its measures. Only if a mandate was forthcoming would or should the House of Lords permit a disputed measure on a vital question to pass into law. The most striking aspect of the referendal theory was the insistence that the political barometer for the peers to watch was not the House of Commons – so central to Wellington and Bagehot – but the nation itself. To the nation the House of Lords should look for guidance and direction; and only to the nation’s will, as registered at the polls, would that House bow. But that it would bow to the nation’s will was stated over and over again.” (Corinne Comstock Weston, ‘Salisbury and the Lords, 1868–1895’, Peers, Politics and Power: The House of Lords, 1603–1911, eds. Clyve Jones and David Lewis Jones (1986), pp. 463–464) (last accessed 20 October 2021)

I note that a Convention or Doctrine is an accepted practice and not a prescriptive code. That point has been argued at length by Parliamentarians of both Houses.

For example, in 2006:

“The Salisbury-Addison convention is described in the report of the Royal Commission on the Reform of the House of Lords (Cm 4534, 2000) as “an understanding that a ‘manifesto’ Bill, foreshadowed in the governing party’s most recent election manifesto and passed by the House of Commons, should not be opposed by the second chamber on Second or Third Reading” (para 4.21). The convention is also suggested to include the principle that the Lords will not pass wrecking amendments to such a Bill. 1. Is this an accurate description of the convention? Is it sufficiently comprehensive? 2. Can “manifesto bills” be properly identified? Is a manifesto an appropriate basis for codification? 3. Have there been any breaches of convention in this area? 4. How can the convention be codified? If it is codified, how can it be enforced?” (Joint Committee on Conventions, First Special Report, HL Paper 189, HC 1151, 2005–06, 25th May 2006. pages 4–5)

I direct you to questions 2 and 3:

  1. Can “manifesto bills” be properly identified? Is a manifesto an appropriate basis for codification?
  2. Have there been any breaches of convention in this area?

See: Microsoft Word – LLN 2006-006 Frontpage.doc ( pages 68 – 79): (last accessed 26 October 2021)

For example, in 2019

See: Salisbury Convention: A Decade of Developments ( (last accessed 26 October 2021)

Is the Conservative Party Manifesto Commitment regarding the Legacy of the Conflict in Northern Ireland sufficiently compelling in the 2019 manifesto to constitute a manifesto bill subject to the Salisbury Convention?

In my view it is not. That commitment led to the “New Decade, New Approach” proposal which committed to implementing the Stormont House Agreement 2014 by way of legislation within 100 days.

The “Addressing the Legacy Northern Ireland’s past” proposal is a radical departure from that manifesto commitment.

Is the Conservative Party Manifesto read and understood by all those who exercised their democratic right to vote for the Conservative Party in the 2019 General Election?

In my view it is not. The Conservative Party attained 43.6% of the vote. The other parties attained 51.3% of the vote and oppose these Modest Proposals. In addition, manifesto pledges have been abandoned because of the pandemic, for example regarding taxation and National Insurance.

Do these Modest Proposals offend the principles of democracy, the Rule of Law and Common Law rights to access to justice?

In my view they do.

Do these Modest Proposals offend the UK’s international obligations specifically demanded by the ECHR?

In my view they do.

Do these Modest Proposals reflect the views of those relatives of victims and survivors of the Conflict in Northern Ireland?

In my view they do not.

Do these Modest Proposals command the support of the majority of those who will be affected by its implementation – the people of Northern Ireland?

In my view they do not.

Does the House of Lords constitutional, political, legal and moral duty and responsibility mean that these Modest Proposals are subject to constraints of the Salisbury Convention as opposed to democracy, the Rule of Law and Common Law rights to access to justice?

In my view they do not. There must be a higher guiding principle. The Conservative Manifesto Commitment cannot now be interpreted as a Manifesto Bill subject to the Salisbury Doctrine.

The Lords must summon up courage and defy any Bill arising from these Modest Proposals and wreck it to save the peace in Northern Ireland, to restore the Rule of Law and to give hope to relatives of victims and survivors of the Conflict that truth, justice and accountability can be delivered.



















[i] The views expressed are those of the author and not those of KRW LAW LLP.





















[i] The views expressed are those of the author and not those of KRW LAW LLP.