Campaigning human rights organisation, Ulster Human Rights Watch, says the High Court ruling on the Legacy Act ‘strikes a blow for victims of terrorism and delivers a blow to the Government’.’

Reacting to the ruling, Axel Schmidt, Advocacy Manager, UHRW, said: “This is a highly significant ruling by the High Court. It strikes a blow for victims of terrorism and at the same time delivers a blow to the Government in advance of the May 1st cut-off.

“Had the Government listened to us and our recommendations from the outset, this embarrassing reversal could have been avoided.

“One of the major sections in the Legacy Act concerning immunity from prosecution is in breach of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) and must mean that the Government should remove it from the legislation.

“Its direction of travel through its Legacy Act was ill judged and now proven to be wrong. UHRW has consistently held the view that victims of terrorism cannot be denied or prevented from seeking justice and this ruling is a clear vindication of our position.”