Plan to end all NI Troubles prosecutions confirmed

The government has confirmed it intends to bring forward legislation to ban all prosecutions related to the Troubles.

Boris Johnson said the proposals to address the legacy of the past will allow Northern Ireland to “draw a line under the Troubles”.

NI Secretary Brandon Lewis told Parliament it was a decision not taken lightly. But he said it is “the best way to help Northern Ireland move further along the road to reconciliation”.

A statement from the government said there would be a “statute of limitations, to apply equally to all Troubles-related incidents”.

It is understood it would apply to former members of the security forces as well as ex-paramilitaries.

A statute of limitations is a law which prevents legal proceedings being taken after a certain period of time.

Hilary Meredith, Chair of Hilary Meredith Solicitors and Visiting Professor of Law and Veterans’ Affairs at the University of Chester said:

“There is real difficulty in finding the right solution here. It is impossible to satisfy all sides.

“It cannot make equitable sense for a government to agree an amnesty for terrorists but allow soldiers following orders to face accusations and trial decades later. If we send soldiers to risk their lives fighting for our country, we must stand by them and take responsibility.”