Hot on the heels of our recent update there have been further developments in the campaign to push for implementation of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIAI) recommendations.
We have recently reported on the consultation process and the announcement by the Northern Ireland Civil Service that the results of the process had been passed to Secretary of State Karen Brady. More recently various representatives of the former residents of institutions have met with the Secretary of State to press for progress in the absence of the Executive. They were very angry at what they saw as further delay on the part of the Secretary of State. On her part the Secretary of State has confirmed that she sees the urgent need for implementation but she has asked the various political parties for comments on 15 questions around the implementation and recommendations. She also sees the need for the NI politicians to take ownership of the issue and wants it to be part of the discussions to reinstate the Executive.
Campaigners protested outside the Secretary of State’s annual Garden Party where Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cambridge were guests.
It was announced yesterday that another step is to be taken in the on going campaign for implementation. Last month the High Court found that the Secretary of State had not failed in her duty to implement the Recommendations and that she was not acting unlawfully. However the court did say that it may be possible to reactivate the case if the Secretary of State did not act sufficiently quickly following the consultation process.
JR80 (the cypher given to the applicant) has indicated that there will be an appeal against that earlier ruling. This will increase pressure on the Secretary of State at a time when her party is facing numerous challenges over the Brexit process and when Westminster may not wish to take on an issue as complex as the HIAI Recommendations.
As news develops we will update through the Blog.
Ciara McReynolds, Solicitor, BLM