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“All human beings are born free and equal

in dignity and rights.”

- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Northern Ireland: Accountability at Risk

Tuesday, February 15, 2022 - 1:00pm
Virtual via Cisco WebEx


Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a hearing on new risks to ensuring accountability for grave human rights violations committed during the internal armed conflict in Northern Ireland.

On July 14, 2021, United Kingdom Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Brandon Lewis submitted a position paper to the UK Parliament proposing a law that would grant immunity to those responsible for the more than 3,500 people who died and the tens of thousands injured during the Northern Ireland conflict known as the Troubles, which stretched from the late 1960s to the Good Friday agreement in 1998.

The proposed law imperils the fragile peace in Northern Ireland, and is inconsistent with the terms of the 2014 Stormont House Agreement that provided for an Historical Investigations Unit to facilitate prosecutions for these crimes.

The bill has garnered widespread condemnation from Northern Irish political parties, both Republican and Unionist, and from United Nations experts Fabian Salvioli, Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, and Morris Tidball-Binz, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.  They urged the British authorities to "refrain from regressing on their international human rights obligations through the establishment of a statute of limitations for conflict related prosecutions and barring all related investigations, inquests and civil claims.”

Witnesses will analyze the proposed law and examine its consequences for victims of the conflict.

This hearing will be virtual. Pursuant to H. Res. 965, Members of Congress and witnesses will participate remotely via Cisco WebEx. Members of the public and the media may view the hearing by live webcast on the Commission website. The hearing will also be available for viewing on the House Digital Channel service. For any questions, please contact Patrick Harvey (for Co-Chair Smith) or Kimberly Stanton (for Co-Chair McGovern).  

Hosted by:

Christopher H. Smith
Member of Congress
Co-Chair, TLHRC
James P. McGovern
Member of Congress
Co-Chair, TLHRC

    Opening remarks


    Panel I


    Submitted for the Record




    117th Congress