The administrative scheme for "on-the-runs" - Northern Ireland Affairs Contents


Formal Minutes


Wednesday 18 March 2015

Members present:

Mr Laurence Robertson, in the Chair
Mr David Anderson

Mr Joe Benton

Oliver Colvile

Mr Stephen Hepburn

Lady Hermon

Kate Hoey

Naomi Long

Nigel Mills

Ian Paisley

David Simpson

Draft Report (The administrative scheme for "on-the-runs"), proposed by the Chair, brought up and read.

Ordered, That the draft Report be read a second time, paragraph by paragraph.

Paragraphs 1 to 130 read and agreed to.

Paragraph 131 read.

Amendment proposed, leave out paragraph 131 and insert:

"We believe that publishing the names would be entirely consistent with the principles of open justice in a system where the details of individuals arrested are made public, even if they are never charged. We therefore recommend that the names of those in receipt of letters should be published forthwith. However, we believe that it is of extreme importance that Operation Redfield is completed as soon as possible."-(Nigel Mills.)

Question put, That the Amendment be made.

The Committee divided.

Ayes, 3

Kate Hoey

Nigel Mills

Ian Paisley

Noes, 5

Mr David Anderson

Mr Joe Benton

Oliver Colvile

Mr Stephen Hepburn

Naomi Long

Paragraphs 132 to 319 read and agreed to.

Annex agreed to.

Summary read.

Amendment proposed, leave out Summary and insert:

"There are a number of fundamentals concerning the administrative scheme which cannot be disputed: the scheme came about during the peace process, and was a way by which individuals living outside of the UK could find out if they would be arrested if they were to return; only those OTRs where there was insufficient evidence of criminal activity should have received a letter; errors such as the Downey case occurred because of flaws in the system, such as inadequate leadership, organisation and liaison, but decisions were taken independently of politicians, and that should not have not been allowed to occur; the scheme was not publicised but there was, however, significant information in the public sphere over the years of its operation; Dame Heather Hallett was appointed to review the scheme in light of the Downey error and concluded that the scheme was unprecedented, flawed, but not unlawful, and did not constitute an amnesty.

We share the real and genuine disappointment felt by victims, but conclude that that we are now in a far better place today as a result of the decisions taken around the peace process. People did take risks at that time, but those risks have paid off for the vast majority of people in the UK. Furthermore, we believe that everyone acted in good faith believing that they were securing peace in a very fragile environment."- (Mr Stephen Hepburn.)

Question put, That the Amendment be made.

The Committee divided.

Ayes, 1

Mr Stephen Hepburn

Noes, 7

Mr David Anderson

Mr Joe Benton

Oliver Colvile

Kate Hoey

Naomi Long

Nigel Mills

Ian Paisley

Several Papers were appended to the Report.

Resolved, That the Report be the Second Report of the Committee to the House.

Ordered, That the Chair make the Report to the House.

Ordered, That embargoed copies of the Report be made available, in accordance with the provisions of Standing Order No. 134.

[Adjourned to a date and time to be fixed by the Chair


 
previous page contents next page


© Parliamentary copyright 2015
Prepared 24 March 2015