The quashing by the Supreme Court in London of Gerry Adams's convictions for attempting to escape from Long Kesh in the 1970s has simultaneously delighted republicans and outraged unionists.
The Ulster Unionist Party, in a typically short-sighted, knee-jerk reaction, showed no political imagination in dealing with this uncomfortable judicial decision.
Ulster Unionist leader Steve Aiken said victims of the IRA would be "angered and bewildered".
He further said - in a misjudged comment - that Mr Adams got off on a "technicality".
What Mr Aiken should have said was that he wanted to praise the integrity shown by the highest court in Britain in its decision to acquit Mr Adams of attempting to escape despite his well-known political hostility to the British state, and that this proved the innate sense of justice and fairness within the British justice system. This is something which Mr Adams would never admit.
More importantly, Mr Aiken should also have reflected carefully on the dire history and disastrous political consequences of the introduction of internment without trial on August 9, 1971 by the then leader of his party, Prime Minister Brian Faulkner.
That catastrophic decision by Faulkner, which was approved by British Prime Minister Ted Heath, had an enormously negative impact on our politics and, combined with the Bloody Sunday killings by the Parachute Regiment in January 1972, ultimately led to the fall of unionist-dominated Stormont and brought about 26 wasted years of direct rule.
On mature reflection, after almost 50 years, it might just dawn on the current batch of unionist political representatives that internment was a hideous mistake and that it should never have been initiated by the unionist government. Even Ian Paisley had the good sense not to approve of it.
Ostensibly, internment set out to end violence on our streets and to weaken the Provisional IRA.
Instead, it gave the Provos a major boost politically and massively increased violence.
Eight months before internment 34 people were killed, but in the four months after internment 140 people were killed.
Internment was also carried out on a one-sided basis. In all, 1,981 people were interned, of whom only 107 were loyalists.
Internment was a bungled operation carried out without up-to-date intelligence and leading to people being interned who were not involved in the IRA.
The operation was successful in only one aspect - the total alienation of the Catholic community.
In the Adams appeal the Supreme Court had to consider whether the-then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Willie Whitelaw personally had to make the decision to intern him.
The court unanimously decided that Whitelaw could not legally delegate decision-making powers in Mr Adams's case to anyone else.
If his junior minister couldn't lawfully make the decision to intern Mr Adams then he was not lawfully detained, and therefore could not be guilty of attempting to escape from the internment camp.
He was, in effect, unlawfully imprisoned and for that he should be entitled to generous compensation from the Crown - and republicans have never been adverse to accepting the half crown.
Coincidentally, it was former Lord Chief Justice Lord Kerr who led the judgment for the Supreme Court.
It was a just legal decision and, given the momentous nature of internment without a trial, it was correct.
The judgment was not dealing with what Mr Aiken called a "technicality", but was upholding the right of every citizen, no matter what their reputation or what they are suspected to have done, to have a proper trial and be acquitted or found guilty in accordance with the much-cherished principles of due process.
That is what civilised judicial decision-making is all about.
You do not chop and change because of the political character of the appellant.
Given this judgment, it is an appropriate time to remember the merciless death sentences meted out to the victims of the IRA's grotesque kangaroo courts.
They did not receive publicly financed legal representation nor even the basic elements of due process, never mind an appeal to another court. Those unfortunate victims of Provo justice cannot get their lives back.
Nor should it be forgotten that the IRA murdered several judges because they were, in its perverse terms, "part of the British war machine". There is no second chance for them.
So, while this judgment is welcome as a just and fair decision, it is in stark contrast to the cruel mockery of so-called "justice" arbitrarily dispensed during 30 years of republican violence.
What a pity it is then that Mr Adams is unable to shed some light on any of this, as he was never in the IRA.