Northern Ireland Troubles law breaches human rights

The High Court in Northern Ireland yesterday handed down judgment in Dillon and others v Secretary of State for Northern Ireland [2024] NIKB 11.

The 200-page judgment follows on from an eight-day judicial review hearing in Northern Ireland.

The High Court has found that the Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Act 2023 is in breach of human rights and unlawful. The Act is the UK Government’s flagship legislation, which seeks to bring to an end criminal investigations, inquest hearings, and civil damages claims relating to the Northern Ireland Troubles. The Act has been roundly opposed by victims of the Troubles. The High Court found that the Act is unlawful in that it: (a) seeks to introduce immunity from criminal investigation and prosecution for perpetrators of Troubles related criminality, and (b) brings to an end damages claims introduced after the Act was first introduced in Parliament.

Jude Bunting KC argued the human rights points for the applicants in the lead case, with assistance from John Larkin KC, Malachy Magowan, and Laura King from the Northern Ireland bar. They were instructed by Darragh Mackin and Gavin Booth from Phoenix law.

See further coverage at the BBC and the Guardian.