With the Office of the First and deputy First Ministers reportedly “examining the Alliance Party amendments in detail”, we’ll have to wait to see whether the actual legislation creating a Victims Commission is fast-tracked through the Assembly next week. In the meantime, and in the absence of the report from the Eames/Bradley group, the Police Ombudsman, Al Hutchison, has been revisiting his previous comments – as Policing Oversight Commissioner – in an interview in the Irish News [subs req for now]
“In my final report as oversight commissioner I listed a number of challenges including policing the past or future. I said that both this office and the HET are blunt instruments too narrowly focused to solve society’s problems. After coming to office I’ve confirmed that is the right view but with an additional fact. Having talked to victims and families from across the board I know that they can’t be ignored and we need proper legislation to deal with that. Even if you could draw a line under the past I’m not sure you should because of the victims deserve the truth. And while getting answers can be cathartic to some there are also lessons [to] be learnt and which have been learnt.”
And then there’s the other matter..