When asked about the Eames-Bradley report, the commissioner appeared supportive of its proposals.
In 2009, the report was shelved after an outcry at its plan for payments to victims and a perceived moral equivalence between victims and perpetrators of violence.
Speaking of the Richard Haass talks on the past, flags and parades, Kathryn Stone said: “I would be very surprised if the Eames-Bradley report was not discussed as part of Dr Haass’s deliberations.
“I think if you were to start with a blank sheet of paper it would be a surprise to end up with something that was radically different from the proposals there.
“Clearly the idea of a financial payment is very difficult and is very challenging. But in order to make sure that we’re providing properly for victims we need to explore all the possibilities and revisiting the Eames-Bradley report within the context of a few years between when it was first published and where we are now and what we know now, people might view that very differently.”
Was it too hastily dismissed at the time?
“I think that it took a lot of extraordinarily insightful, compassionate and wise people who worked for a long time to put that report together. I think it must have been devastating for them and disappointing for a lot of people that it was considered to be, you know, ‘we’re not going to accept the whole of the report because of one element of it’.
“As I said, it would be very surprising if that were not revisited as a significant part of Dr Haass’s deliberations.”
However, when pressed on whether she personally supported the report, as on so many issues, the commissioner was reluctant to give a view.
“It would be very difficult for me to comment on that because what happens in a particular context is informed by what’s happening at the time. I wasn’t here, I wasn’t living in this community here. People tell me it was wrong that it was dismissed; other people have told me that it was right that it was dismissed.”