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Ireland lodges challenge to Troubles act
(Pic: Shutterstock)

19 Jan 2024 / human rights Print

Ireland lodges challenge to Troubles Act

The Government has officially lodged a legal challenge against the United Kingdom over its controversial legislation on the legacy of the Troubles with the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

The action, which the Government announced late last year, will be an ‘Inter-State’ case under the European Convention on Human Rights.

In its application, Ireland is arguing that the provisions of the Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Act 2023 are incompatible with the UK’s obligations under the convention.


The legislation, enacted last September, will create a new independent body called the Independent Commission for Reconciliation and Information Recovery, and offer immunity from prosecution for individuals who co-operate with it.

The court said today (19 January) Ireland was relying on article 2 (right to life), article 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment), article 6 (right to a fair trial), article 13 (right to an effective remedy), and article 14 (prohibition of discrimination).

Among Ireland’s allegations is that the guarantees of immunity from prosecution offered are contrary to articles 2 and 3 of the convention.

Speaking in December, Tánaiste Micheál Martin expressed regret about taking the action, but added that the Government had been left with few options.

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