A LEADING UN Human Rights body has stated the UK government must revise or revoke their controversial Legacy Act.

The United Nations Human Rights Committee expressed its apprehension over contentious clauses in the Act. The legislation is opposed by all victims groups and political parties in Ireland, with the Irish government having formally launched legal action against the UK government at the European Court of Human Rights.

In its latest report, the UN committee also expressed reservations about the UK's Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Act 2021.

This law provides a level of safeguard against prosecution for military personnel deployed abroad, with a five-year time limit following any potential incidents.

In a statement from the United Nations Office in Geneva, the committee underscored its concerns about conditional immunity which is offered in the bill and the presumption against prosecution for military personnel outlined in the Overseas Operations Act 2021.

The committee called upon the UK to amend or rescind both pieces of legislation to ensure there is thorough and fair investigation and prosecution of past human rights violations committed by British forces.

North Belfast MP John Finucane welcomed the latest broadside against the Legacy Act.

“Given that the clear purpose of Act was to give immunity to British state forces and to obstruct families and block their efforts to get truth and justice through the courts, the real intent behind this Act is now exposed as a clear breach of citizen’s rights," he said. 

“I would call on the British government to repeal its legislation and implement the Stormont House Legacy mechanisms in a human rights compliant manner.”