The ECHR and the future of Northern Ireland’s past
In this paper, which is the revised text of his recent lecture for Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project, John Larkin QC reflects on the state of the United Kingdom’s constitution. The paper discusses an aspect of an important provision of the European Convention on Human Rights — the procedural obligations under the Article 2 provision on the right to life, and its implications for how policy on the legacy of the Northern Ireland Troubles is to be made. This reflection on Article 2 and what it means for The Troubles illustrates some more general problems that have arisen from ‘bringing rights home’ – that is, the partial domestication of the ECHR through the Human Rights Act 1998. The paper, which opens with a foreword from Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood, former Supreme Court Justice, concludes with some suggestions about what might now be done.