The Historical Use of Amnesties, Immunities, and Sentence Reductions in Northern Ireland

March 2015
The Historical Use of Amnesties, Immunities, and Sentence Reductions in Northern Ireland
By Kieran McEvoy, Luke Moffett, Louise Mallinder & Gordon Anthony

While it is widely believed that the use of amnesties and similar measures would mark a new departure in NI and the UK, so that speculation about their introduction causes public controversy and threatens political instability, the report demonstrates that such measures have in fact been repeatedly used in a wide range of circumstances since the foundation of the NI state. The paper offers definitions of the key measures which have been employed, including amnesties, sentence reductions linked to peace building and use immunities. It explores their historical use and its consequences.