This report starts first with a comment on the sad death of Sir Anthony Hart, the Chairman of the Historic Institutional Abuse Inquiry. He died suddenly on Tuesday. Sir Anthony was a well respected member of the Bar and retained that respect as a county court Judge, Recorder of Derry and Belfast and, subsequently, a High Court Judge. Our sympathies go to his wife, family friends and colleagues.
In the same week, the Northern Ireland Select Committee heard evidence from Jon McCourt (Survivors North West), Gerry McCann (Rosetta Trust), Professor Patricia Lundy (Ulster University and Patrick Corrigan (Amnesty). The Committee recommended that the Redress Scheme (recommended by the HIAI) be progressed through Parliament as quickly as possible. This recommendation was originally contained in the recommendations of the HIAI, lead by Sir Anthony, published in January 2017. The collapse of the NI Assembly shortly after that means there has been little or no progress since then.
It has been announced that discussions between the political parties in Northern Ireland and the Head of Civil Service, David Sterling, have made some progress on the approach to the recommendations made by Sir Anthony Hart following the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIAI).
The HIAI made a number of recommendations in 2017 but the political impasse in NI has meant that nothing has happened in regard to the implementation of those recommendations. Earlier this year a consultation process on draft legislation generated a significant number of responses.
The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Karen Bradley, made a number of announcements on the 6 September 2018 concerning the political impasse in Northern Ireland. While the cut to the pay of the MLAs made the headlines it was the discussion about the role of the Civil Service and decision making powers that may be of significantly greater relevance. Continue reading
Saturday 20th January marks the first anniversary of the publication of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry Report. The report was published having been delivered to The Executive Office (formerly The Office of the First and Deputy First Ministers) as it was required to do. Continue reading