IN less than a fortnight, almost coinciding with the anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, our society will be immersed in laws of impunity, disregard and denial with the Legacy Act.

This legislation will deny the family of every single conflict victim, irrespective of their background or experience of conflict, the fundamental rights to investigation and justice. It will tear the heart out of the Good Friday Agreement. It will perpetuate the rendering of victims of the conflict as second class under the law and under the Good Friday Agreement. 

Despite the calls of every groups of bereaved victims to cancel it, despite the international human rights community saying it is in contravention of the European Convention of Human Rights, despite every political party on this island saying it is morally and politically wrong, despite their partner co-guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement, the Irish government, saying it is in contravention of the obligations of the British government in protecting our peace agreement and being forced to take an interstate case to protect victims, this British government has proceeded and enacted this heinous legislation to protect its reputation from the accountability that their military policies and collusion in Ireland demand.

They have willing accomplices in the form of aged men with egos that tell them they will make this work. Rather than listen to and respect everyone else who has been engaged in the long and dedicated work of supporting victims and survivors in the absence of appropriate and legally compliant mechanisms to support victims and survivors, the less than dynamic duo of Declan Morgan and Peter Sheridan are engaged in multiple meetings across the Irish Sea and Atlantic Sea to sell British legislation and impunity. 

If the legislation was victim-centred, families would have been listened to, those currently representing families would be respected, and the courts that uphold their rights deferred to. But sadly, it seems that the aging ego that privilege fosters prevents such grace. 

The courts will continue to tell the British government, its Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris, the roving Lord Caine and its aging minions that this legislation is wrong at its core. And the vested interests will take snippets of commentary to serve their own interests and hope to persuade those who prefer good relations to the discomfort of challenge.  In Ireland, in London and in Strasbourg the British government and those enacting this legislation will be told, however, that victims have suffered enough and to put families through another failed process with a former RUC officer at its helm is unthinkably and patently wrong. 

The ICRIR will likely proceed and this will shamefully compound the intergenerational trauma of the traumatised. In time, families, their legal representatives and NGOs, along with the human rights community will have their day; eventually they will be proven right. And it will be the saddest day any vindication ever brought.