Government response to Northern Ireland Petition

#1
For those who are interested.

In response to the handing in of a petition, (British Soldiers who served in N. Ireland must have immunity from prosecution.), the Government have issued the following statement:

This Government is unequivocal in our admiration for the Armed Forces whose sacrifices ensured terrorism would never succeed. However, our approach to the past must be consistent with the rule of law.
This Government will always salute the heroism and bravery of the soldiers and police officers who served to protect the people of Northern Ireland, and in too many cases paid the ultimate price. It is only due to the courageous efforts of our security forces that we have the relative peace and stability that Northern Ireland enjoys today. Our security forces ensured that Northern Ireland’s future will only ever be decided by democracy and consent, and never by violence. Over 250,000 people served in Northern Ireland during Operation Banner, the longest continuous military deployment in our country’s history, the vast majority with courage, professionalism and great distinction. This Government will never forget the debt of gratitude we owe them.
Criminal investigations and prosecutions are a matter for the police and prosecuting authorities who act independently of government and politicians. This Government believes in the rule of law. Where there is evidence of wrongdoing it is right that this should be investigated and, where the evidence exists, for prosecutions to follow. We do not support amnesties or immunity from prosecution.
This Government remains committed to the full implementation of the legacy institutions in the Stormont House Agreement of December 2014. The Agreement includes a commitment to establish new legacy institutions, among them a Historical Investigations Unit (HIU) to take forward outstanding investigations into Troubles-related deaths.
On 11 May 2018, the UK Government published a consultation paper entitled ‘Addressing the legacy of Northern Ireland’s past’. The consultation sets out how the institutions are designed to address different aspects of the legacy of the past. The general principles underpinning the proposed new institutions are set out, including the requirement to operate in ways that are balanced, proportionate, transparent, fair and equitable. The Government believes that these institutions, which represent the balance of a political agreement between all the parties to the Stormont House Agreement provide the best way to address the legacy of Northern Ireland’s past.
The HIU will deal with deaths in chronological order. This will ensure terrorist murders, including 185 murders of soldiers, are investigated and any evidential leads pursued. These include the murders of 18 soldiers at Warrenpoint in 1979 and eight in the Ballygawley bus bombing.
The HIU would take on the outstanding work of the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s (PSNI’s) Historical Enquiries Team and the outstanding legacy work of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland.
In order to ensure expeditious investigations and to bring an end to investigations into the past, the HIU will be time-limited, with an objective to complete its work in 5 years and specific obligations governing the extent to which a case requires further investigation.
In contrast to the current investigatory mechanisms, the new institutions will be victim-centred but also include statutory controls on the way that they operate, such as time-limits, strictly defined remits and safeguards to protect national security. These measures aim to bring to a close investigations into the past and have the potential to provide better outcomes for victims and survivors who suffered most during the Troubles.
Northern Ireland Office
Click this link to view the response online:
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/219576?reveal_response=yes
The Petitions Committee will take a look at this petition and its response. They can press the government for action and gather evidence. If this petition reaches 100,000 signatures, the Committee will consider it for a debate.
The Committee is made up of 11 MPs, from political parties in government and in opposition. It is entirely independent of the Government. Find out more about the Committee: https://petition.parliament.uk/help#petitions-committee
Thanks,
The Petitions team
UK Government and Parliament

Make of it what you will...……..
 
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#2
Interesting that it mentions Ballygawley as I thought that the terrorists responsible were killed nine days later. And as for Warrenpoint one of the suspected bombers is dead and the other got a Get Out Of Jail Free card as part of the GFA. I would have assumed that fairly extensive criminal/intelligence investigations wpuld have occurred at the time, so in both cases who are they going to investigate?
 
#3
"This Government believes in the rule of law. Where there is evidence of wrongdoing it is right that this should be investigated and, where the evidence exists, for prosecutions to follow. We do not support amnesties or immunity from prosecution."

Be interesting to see how they equate this mealy mouthed piece of lip service with the Get Out Of Jail Free Cards issued to known terrorists, while prosecuting the soldiers sent out by the government to implement their rule of law for them?

If we, as soldiers are subject to the law and know terrorists aren't , then that whole statement means nothing, political expediency will see to that!
 
#4
Ref: British Soldiers who served in N. Ireland must have immunity from prosecution.

This Government remains committed to the full implementation of the legacy institutions in the Stormont House Agreement of December 2014. The Agreement includes a commitment to establish new legacy institutions, among them a Historical Investigations Unit (HIU) to take forward outstanding investigations into Troubles-related deaths.
"New legacy institutions" sound like more bold initiatives from a civil service which cannot find its own backside with both hands.
The commitment to the HIU simply put means, "Reference your petition, no".
 
#5
Ref: British Soldiers who served in N. Ireland must have immunity from prosecution.



"New legacy institutions" sound like more bold initiatives from a civil service which cannot find its own backside with both hands.
The commitment to the HIU simply put means, "Reference your petition, no".
I note with interest that the HIU don't seem to be spending as much time on troubles related deaths where the prime suspects are the IRA or their splinter groups.

Sounds a wee bit biased to me and I wonder if anyone could raise a successful appeal on the grounds of bias, political expediency and/or lack of assistance from ones ex employer who put them in that situation in the first place.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#6
Frankly I have never believed in amnesties, thats across the board though!
 
#8
Frankly I have never believed in amnesties, thats across the board though!
I totally agree with you, but this particular punch in the face is probably worth all the Military lives saved as a result of Gerry and Martin’s capitulation.
 
#10
Despite the name, wasn't continuous - Quite a number of breaks in that one, including some treaties etc. However some might argue that we have been at war with France since 1066!
If you want to be picky neither was NI.
 
#11
If you want to be picky neither was NI.
Aye true, but I guess Op Banner was one op.

"Op Rape, Rob, Kill a Frog" was more like a series of vaguely connected events, mixed in with a bit of desperate diplomacy and royal shagging around (exchanging royal offspring for territory used to be the way to solve things - royalty giving away their first born (or subsequent) to some old git for a couple of castles or right to trade).

Nevertheless, even they had amnesties and prisoner exchanges. Reverted back quickly from "Op Love Froggy" to "Op Rape, Rob, Kill a Frog" whenever it was expedient.
 
#12
#14
Couldn't corporate manslaughter law be applied here? I imagine the quickest way to stop this would be if the top brass and politicians were also being held to account....
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#15
Couldn't corporate manslaughter law be applied here? I imagine the quickest way to stop this would be if the top brass and politicians were also being held to account....
A nice idea, but the onus would be defence solicitor using this and is the law retrospective?
 
#17
I never witnessed soldiers committing any crimes resulting in deaths or serious injuries etc but there were several incidents when I was on tour where soldiers were either killed or suffered very serious injuries resulting in debilitating life changing circumstances for those individuals and I would be delighted to contribute any information that I may have to those inquiries although there may not be very much I can actually contribute.
 
#18
I never witnessed soldiers committing any crimes resulting in deaths or serious injuries etc but there were several incidents when I was on tour where soldiers were either killed or suffered very serious injuries resulting in debilitating life changing circumstances for those individuals and I would be delighted to contribute any information that I may have to those inquiries although there may not be very much I can actually contribute.
It seems to me that the only information that the NI HIT are interested in, is any information that will help to secure a conviction against a member of the Security Forces.
 
#20

Wasn't there only 40+ Tories and 6 Unionists? Both of those parties are supposed to be our greatest supporters, so only 1 Labour MP in attendance shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. The fact that there was such a meagre turnout by all party's, probably tells us how far most want to distance themselves from any controversy...They are moral cowards, corrupt and devoid of any sense of decency or honour, where the military are concerned.
 

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