Hilary Meredith has welcomed a Commons Defence Committee report recommending that the Government enact a statute of limitations “covering all Troubles-related incidents, up to the signing of the 1998 Belfast Agreement, which involved former members of the Armed Forces”, alongside a truth recovery mechanism that would provide “the best possible prospect of bereaved families finding out the facts”.
The Defence Committee found that the process of investigations, the instability of the various investigatory bodies and the continuing question marks over the independence of the investigations undertaken had delivered a vicious cycle of investigation and re-investigation that has failed both former service personnel and the families of those who died.
MPs will debate the Defence Committee report In Westminster Hall on Thursday 25 January 2018.
In advance of the debate, Hilary Meredith, Chair of Hilary Meredith Solicitors and Professor of Law and Veterans’ Affairs at the University of Chester said:
“I welcome the Defence Committee’s recommendation for a statute of limitations. Anything else would be a betrayal of our veterans, many of whom have already have had their lives ruined by false accusations and flawed, aggressive investigations. We should support our heroes not hang them out to dry. This is a step in the right direction.”
The Seventh Report of Session 2016-17 explored the options available to the Government to protect those who served in Operation Banner (the longest continuous campaign in the history of the British Army, lasting from August 1969 to July 2007) from having investigations reopened long after the events concerned.