Former Northern Ireland secretary Peter Hain said he did not back a proposed amnesty for prosecutions in Troubles-related murders, but admitted efforts to punish crimes committed during the time was "difficult, if not impossible."
Speaking to Radio 4's World at One, he said:
"Pursuing crimes committed three or four decades ago at enormous expense, with enormous effort, where the evidence is very difficult if not impossible to achieve.
"It's better in my view, having dealt with these issues myself, to support the victims in their plea for justice in other ways.
"If you keep going down the legal route there's actually no prospect in the bulk of the cases that you are going to succeed and you just reopen the whole past instead of moving forward and instead of really addressing the victims' and the widows' grievances."
More top news
The 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier is the largest and most powerful ship ever to be built for the Royal Navy.
The Blues eye-up deals for Sandro, Lukaku, Van Dijk and Bakayoko as Conte looks to spend big ahead of the new campaign
The 14-year-old was left dangling about 25ft off the ground as her little brother cried hysterically saying he couldn't hold on to her.