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Hon. Christopher H. Smith, Chairman
Hon. Benjamin L. Cardin, Co-Chairman
For Immediate Release
March 15, 2012


WASHINGTON–The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) announced today the following hearing:

Prerequisites for Progress in Northern Ireland

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

2:00 p.m.

Rm. 2247 Rayburn House Office Building

After decades of political violence, the 1998 Good Friday Agreement began a new era of improved security and the promise of both reform and accountability to ensure lasting peace.  The hearing will look at current challenges to full implementation of the agreement and the action that is necessary for continued confidence and progress in the peace process.  This will include an examination of various mechanisms presently available for addressing past abuses and suggestions for moving forward, including in the case of murdered human rights lawyer Patrick Finucane.    

The following witnesses are scheduled to testify:

Geraldine Finucane, widow of  murdered human rights lawyer Patrick Finucane

Christopher Stanley, British-Irish Rights Watch

Mark Thompson, Director, Relatives for Justice


The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, is an independent agency of the Federal Government charged with monitoring compliance with the Helsinki Accords and advancing comprehensive security through promotion of human rights, democracy, and economic, environmental and military cooperation in 56 countries. The Commission consists of nine members from the U.S. Senate, nine from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense, and Commerce.

Media Contact: Shelly Han
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United Kingdom


Conflict Prevention/Rehabilitation
Rule of Law/Independence of Judiciary


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Chairman Chris Smith and Co-Chairman Roger Wicker at the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Annual Session in Baku, Azerbaijan. (June 2014)