Prerogative of Mercy: Northern Ireland

(asked on 8th November 2021) - View Source

Question to the Northern Ireland Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many Royal Pardons have been issued to people in Northern Ireland in the last 25 years.


Answered by
Lord Caine Portrait
Lord Caine
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office)
This question was answered on 23rd November 2021

The Royal Prerogative of Mercy (RPM) was used 16 times in relation to persons convicted and sentenced for terrorist offences in Northern Ireland between 2000 and 2002; seven times in 2000, six times in 2001, and three times in 2002. It was used to shorten (that is not waive or remove) sentences in relation to individuals who, for technical reasons, were not eligible for the early release scheme established under the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998.

The RPM was used once in 1998 and once in 1999 in non-terrorism related cases in Northern Ireland. In one case, an individual was granted the RPM following assistance that person gave to the authorities (reduction in sentence for such assistance is now provided for on a statutory basis under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005). In the other, the RPM was used to commute a portion of a sentence for a soldier who spent time under close military arrest for an offence prior to conviction. Had this person been a civilian, such time (equivalent to being on remand) would have been deducted from the sentence, but there was no statutory provision for this at the time in relation to close military arrest.

Whilst the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is responsible for recommending the exercising of the RPM for terrorism-related cases in Northern Ireland, since the devolution of policing and justice in 2010, responsibility for making recommendations for the RPM in all other cases lies with the Minister of Justice in Northern Ireland.

The Northern Ireland Office does not hold complete records for 1996 or 1997 due to record retention policies.


This content was generated for your convenience by Parallel Parliament and does not form part of the official record.
Recent Documents related to Prerogative of Mercy: Northern Ireland

1. Defence Secretary expands Army reserve numbers in Northern Ireland
24/05/2018 - Ministry of Defence
- View source

Found: Secretary expands Army reserve numbers in Northern Ireland - GOV.UK document

2. British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy - written evidence
05/09/2018 - Inquiry: Funding priorities in the 2018-19 Budget: Health - Northern Ireland Affairs Committee
- View source

Found: institutions in January 2017 exacerbating what many in Northern Ireland are now calling a ‘Mental Health Crisis’

3. 19 Jun 2019 - Tourism in Northern Ireland - oral evidence
24/06/2019 - Inquiry: Tourism in Northern Ireland - Northern Ireland Affairs Committee
- View source

Found: Oral evidence - Tourism in Northern Ireland - 19 Jun 2019 Northern Ireland Affairs Committee Oral evidence:

4. Secretary of State extends appointment of Children’s Commissioner
01/03/2019 - Northern Ireland Office
- View source

Found: website work as well as possible and improve government services. Accept all cookies Set cookie

5. The Consumer Council - written evidence
15/05/2019 - Inquiry: Post Office network - Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee
- View source

Found: Council (PON0028) The Consumer Council for Northern Ireland response to the Business, Energy and Industrial

Latest Documents
Recent Speeches related to Prerogative of Mercy: Northern Ireland

1. Armed Forces Bill
07/09/2021 - Lords Chamber

1: displayed to us with the evacuation of over 14,500 people from Kabul airport to the safety of the UK. That - Speech Link

2. Legacy of Northern Ireland’s Past
20/07/2021 - Lords Chamber

1: that claimed the lives of some 3,500 people, left up to 40,000 people injured, and caused untold damage - Speech Link
2: centenary year, just how far Northern Ireland has come. While Northern Ireland is undoubtedly today a fantastic - Speech Link
3: out in the figures. The Police Service of Northern Ireland is currently considering almost 1,200 cases - Speech Link

3. Policing and Crime Bill
12/12/2016 - Lords Chamber

1: later in the afternoon. Also in this group are government Amendments 180 and 181, which also relate to - Speech Link
2: be deemed controversial or as affecting certain people disproportionately, to build in a review process - Speech Link
3: required. Following the debate in Committee, government Amendments 180, 181 and 194A seek to address - Speech Link

4. Ballymurphy Inquest Findings
17/05/2021 - Lords Chamber

1: determined campaign, which has lasted almost 50 years. The Prime Minister is writing personally to the - Speech Link
2: Over the course of the Troubles, more than 3,500 people were killed, and tens of thousands injured, with - Speech Link
3: The vast majority of those who served in Northern Ireland did so with great dignity and professionalism - Speech Link

5. Draft Northern Ireland Banknote (Designation of Authorised Bank) Regulations 2020
24/06/2020 - General Committees

1: That the Committee has considered the draft Northern Ireland Banknote (Designation of Authorised Bank) - Speech Link
2: authority for issuing Ulster Bank notes in Northern Ireland from Ulster Bank to NatWest. The banks are - Speech Link

Latest Speeches
Recent Questions related to Prerogative of Mercy: Northern Ireland
1. Northern Ireland Government
asked by: Louise Haigh
13/01/2021
... New Approach agreement outlined under Annexe F of that agreement is planned for publication.

2. Northern Ireland Government
asked by: Stephen Farry
12/01/2021
... New Approach deal.

3. Northern Ireland Government
asked by: Lord Kilclooney
09/11/2021
... to be credited to Members of the Legislative Assembly during the proposed 24 week extension period for filling Ministerial offices.

4. Northern Ireland Government
asked by: Peter Kyle
09/12/2021
... New Approach agreement have been fully implemented.

5. Northern Ireland Government
asked by: Lord Caine
09/03/2021
... published on 8 January 2020; and when they expect that these will be fulfilled.

Latest Questions