Haass submissions outline issues

Dr Richard Haass, with Harvard professor Meghan O"Sullivan, speaking to the media at the Europa hotel in Belfast Dr Richard Haass and Harvard Professor Meghan O'Sullivan are involved in a fresh round of talks

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After the publication on Monday of Sinn Féin's submissions to Richard Haass and the BBC's reporting of the submission from the Retired Police Officers' Association, Relatives For Justice (RFJ) contacted me to point out that they too have published their proposals for the Haass talks.

Relatives for Justice represents victims of state violence.

Like Sinn Féin, its document favours an independent international truth commission.

Commenting on the Eames-Bradley proposal for a "legacy unit", RFJ expresses interest in the idea of people being able to make "protected statements", as happened with the Bloody Sunday Inquiry and the Independent Commission on the Location of Victims' Remains.

RFJ says this deserves greater consideration as a "middle way" between offering a widespread amnesty for Troubles crimes and concentrating on trying to bring forward fresh prosecutions.

While the Ulster Unionist Tom Elliott criticised Sinn Féin for publishing its submissions, Dr Haass himself was more diplomatic.

He said it was up to participants to decide when they wished to release their ideas and, in the future, his team might consider publishing more of the submissions they have received.

In its message to me over Twitter, Relatives For Justice pointed out that many families have made their own submissions to the Haass talks.

If any group or individual wants to make its submission public at this stage, rather than waiting for the conclusion of the negotiations, then we will do our best to link to their document from this blog.

Please feel free to message me about submissions either via Twitter @markdevenport or through my email, mark.devenport@bbc.co.uk.

Mark Devenport Article written by Mark Devenport Mark Devenport Political editor, Northern Ireland

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  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Careful Chris - you are almost sounding rationale. Larkin's proposal makes eminent sense. People aren't collared for historical crimes. Spend 100's of millions and catch no-one. Unionists deplore the idea because in their own narrow minds it was only them that suffered. They'll never accept state sponsored murder, which they know took place. Keep lookin to the past and keep trippin over the future

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    "NI attorney general John Larkin calls for end to Troubles prosecutions"

    My gut reaction to this was definitely not, however on reflection this would be an opportunity to draw a line under the past. It would however need some sort of "truth commission" set up as families still want answers rather than nothing and I speak as someone who lost a family member.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Unlike South Africa there are no winners here. The truth will never be fully out for there is too much to loose for too many people. As I said in an early post I don't get what Haass is about. Too much too soon. Time, understanding, forgiveness reconciliation is what is needed now. We have come a long way and the vast majority like where we are heading with regards peace. Just a few idiots left

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    As Jack says "you can't handle the truth"....



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