Ireland Lodges Interstate European Convention on Human Rights Application against the UK.

On 17 January Ireland lodged an interstate application against the UK under Article 33 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The application concerns the Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Act 2023; The stated purpose of the Act designed to address the legacy of the troubles and encourage reconciliation.

The Irish Government allege, in particular, that sections 19, 39, 40 and 41 of the Act guarantee

immunity from prosecution for Troubles-related offences, provided that certain conditions are met, contrary to Articles 2 (right to life) and 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment) of the Convention; Additionally they contend that Parts 2 and 3 of the Act replace current mechanisms for information recovery with respect to Troubles-related offences (including police investigations and coronial inquests) with a review by a newly-established Independent Commission for Reconciliation and Information Recovery, contrary to Articles 2 (right to life), Article 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment) and Article 13 (right to an effective remedy); and that section 43 of the Act prevents both the initiation of new Troubles-related civil actions before the courts and the continuation of civil actions not commenced before 17 May 2022, contrary to Article 6 (right to a fair trial) read alone and in conjunction with Article 14 of the Convention (prohibition of discrimination).



This is the second inter-State case between the States following Ireland v. the United Kingdom

(no. 5310/71), in which the Court found against the United Kingdom in 1978. The Court rejected an

application by the Government of Ireland to revise that judgment on 20 March 2018.

The application will appear before the European Court of Human Rights in the coming months.



Click here for the press release.

Click here for the Tánaiste’s press release.



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