Sinn Féin lodged legal papers in the High Court in London yesterday, seeking to have the so-called ‘Independent Monitoring Commission’ declared unlawful.
The application is in the name of Newry and Armagh MP Conor Murphy.
The IMC is the body set up by the London and Dublin governments outside the 1998 Good Friday Agreement which proposes political sanctions on Sinn Féin and others based on the recommendations of British intelligence.
The four-man panel is comprised of what republicans describe as ‘three spooks and a Lord’ -- former London ‘anti-terror’ police chief John Grieve, former deputy director of the CIA Richard Kerr, Irish civil servant Joe Brosnan, and Lord Alderdice.
Mr Murphy said their legal team had been preparing the case for some time now.
“When the IMC was established Sinn Féin made clear our absolute opposition to this body. It was established outside the terms of the Good Friday Agreement and has proven itself to be little more than a tool of anti-peace process securocrats.
“The decision to challenge the legality of the IMC is the latest stage in our legal and political campaign against the IMC and the cover it has provided for the British government to sanction and discriminate against our electorate.
“In this case we will be arguing that the establishment of the IMC was unlawful. We will be arguing that the IMC should be declared unlawful on the grounds of apparent bias and lack of any application of standards of proof.
“We are seeking the reports of the IMC to date declared void and the reliance on these reports by the British Secretary of State declared unlawful.
“Sinn Féin have consistently rejected the IMC and their attacks on our party and electorate. It is undemocratic, unaccountable and entirely unacceptable and our campaign to ensure that the British government returns to the Good Friday Agreement position on sanctions against those in breach of the GFA will continue.”