In 2018, the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) put out to consultation a draft Legacy Bill on the 2014 Stormont House Agreement.
The joint Queen’s University Belfast, Ulster University and Committee on the Administration of Justice ‘Model Bill Team’ produced a detailed written response to the provisions in the draft legacy bill. This event presented this response and featured presentations from Professor Kieran McEvoy (IRG and the ‘national security’ veto); Dr Anna Bryson (OHA); Professor Louise Mallinder (ICIR), and CAJ Deputy Director Daniel Holder (HIU).
The Northern Ireland Office consultation that was launched in May 2018 provided detail on the proposed legislation designed to enact the series of mechanisms that were included in the Stormont House Agreement of December 2014. That Agreement was itself the culmination of lengthy negotiations by the five largest Northern Ireland political parties and the British and Irish governments. The Bill retained many of the key features of preceding attempts to deal with the past. Although it is far from perfect, it represents what we believe to be the best possible opportunity to finally address the past.
Shortly after the launch of the NIO public consultation five members of the original Model Bill team set about preparing this detailed response to these documents. This group offered a preliminary response to the NIO documents at a seminar held at QUB on 16 May 2018. At this event (attended by the NIO legacy team) some key concerns and potential ‘sticking points’ were identified. In the weeks that followed the team set about addressing those challenges and developed a more detailed response.
The response included almost 50 substantive recommendations for changes that we believe are essential if this initiative to ‘deal with the past’ is to succeed.
The launch event was designed to present the Model Bill Team’s consultation response and the reasons behind the recommendations. The event featured presentations from Professor Kieran McEvoy (IRG and the ‘national security’ veto); Dr Anna Bryson (OHA); Professor Louise Mallinder (ICIR), and CAJ Deputy Director Daniel Holder (HIU).