As the BBC reports here, the Assembly has finally been allowed to start the debate on the Victims Commission Bill and assorted amendments. Sinn Féin’s Francie Molloy futures that “It will ensure a strong and effective Victims Commission..” Mark Devenport rounds up the amendments under discussion.
The proposals would give the First and Deputy First Ministers the option to appoint a Chief Commissioner, without requiring them to do so. The commission could decide some matters by a majority vote, but others, involving finance and its plan of work, would require unanimity. No one with a criminal conviction would be allowed to work for the Commission, unless the First and Deputy First Ministers give their prior approval.
OFMDFM Junior Minister Jeffrey Donaldson (DUP, Lagan Valley) said: “The needs of victims and survivors will change and the new structures of support will develop.
“The legislation is drafted in a way that gives the flexibility to move away from four full-time commissioners if necessary.
“The legislation as drafted would allow for the possibility in future of a commission that could be made up of a number of part-time commissioners with part-time remuneration rather than full-time commissioners if required.”