Council of Europe Focus on Outstanding Troubles Inquests

NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE

The United Kingdom has been asked by the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers (CoMIN) to submit a plan to resolve a number of outstanding inquests into deaths during the Troubles.

The Committee considered the issue at its 1222nd meeting yesterday (12th March 2015).

It resolved as follows:

“Decisions

The Deputies

1. noted, with interest, the December 2014 Stormont House Agreement and welcomed the announcement therein to establish an independent single investigative body (the Historical Investigations Unit) which will take over the investigations into legacy cases, currently carried out by the Police Ombudsman and by the Historical Enquiries Team, and will, inter alia, have full policing powers and dedicated family support staff;

2. welcomed also the announcement in the Stormont House Agreement that appropriate steps will be taken to improve the way legacy inquests function, and underlined the importance of ensuring a concrete follow-up to this announcement to ensure that the legacy inquest process can provide access to sufficiently effective investigations within an acceptable timeframe;

3. urged the authorities to use all necessary means to ensure that the implementation of these announcements in the Stormont House Agreement proceeds according to a clear timetable;

4. invited the authorities to submit a consolidated action plan addressing all of the above issues by 1 June 2015 and decided to review the progress made in these cases at their 1243rd meeting (December 2015) (DH).”

The minute of the meeting can be found here:

https://wcd.coe.int/ViewDoc.jsp?Ref=CM/Del/Dec(2015)1222/23&Language=lanFrench&Ver=original&Site=CM&BackColorInternet=DBDCF2&BackColorIntranet=FDC864&BackColorLogged=FDC864

The HUDOC on the ‘McKerr Group’ of ECHR decisions can be found at this link and gives a greater insight to the significance of the CoMIN decision:

https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng-press/pages/search.aspx?i=003-68397-68865#{“itemid”:[“003-68397-68865”]}

Obviously, as indicated in the minute of the 1222nd session, CoMIN will revisit the issue to review progress in December 2015.

J B Moffatt (Mr)

Director of Information
Celtic League

13/03/15

(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur.)

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