July 14, 2017
The New York Bar has expressed its concern over the “climate of intimidation” that lawyers in Northern Ireland face.
The Bar represents 24,000 attorneys as well as judges, government officials and legal academics in New York City.
John Kiernan, president of the Bar, has written to British Prime Minister Theresa May and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire to ask that the UK government “refrain from the use of inflammatory rhetoric” in discussions over ongoing cases.
Plans to prosecute former British soldiers over alleged offences committed during the Troubles has causes a backlash in Britain.
Mr Kiernan said in his letter to Mrs May: “We urge you and other government officials to refrain from the use of inflammatory rhetoric against lawyers involved in the reconciliation process and to identify and implement steps to support lawyers working on reconciliation and legacy issues, and to publicly commit to safeguarding lawyers who have been harassed or threatened as a result of performing their professional duties.”
He added that the NYC Bar was “particularly troubled by reports that lawyers in Northern Ireland once again are facing threats, harassment, and media attacks while engaging in their professional responsibilities related to addressing the legacy of the past”.