Commission Policy Seminar

The Commission’s next policy seminar is a joint event with the Queen’s University of Belfast to facilitate the Victims and Dealing with the Past in Northern Ireland project’s development of media guidelines.

Date:              Monday 23 October 2017

Time:             10:00-12:30

Location:      Clayton Hotel, Ormeau Avenue, Belfast


Project overview

This project explores the intersection between victims and 'dealing with the past' in Northern Ireland. As has been well documented, in the Northern Ireland context, victimhood has become highly politicised. Key challenges include the question of 'who' is a victim of conflict, what victimhood 'means', and ultimately how victims' needs - and which victim's needs - are met. These questions are often underpinned by issues of voice, agency and blame - that, for example, how certain victim's voices may be amplified, where others are silenced, and the role that calibrations of blame and blamelessness can play in the creation of hierarchies of victimhood.

This research project is based at Queen's University Belfast and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Through a large number of interviews with victims and survivors of the Northern Ireland conflict and engagement with key policy makers, it is hoped that this project will contribute to a more politically and socially grounded notion of victimhood that reflects the complexities of a post-conflict society.  By producing a diverse range of outputs accessible to both non-academic and academic users, including articles in local newspapers, policy reports, media training workshops and the creation of a storytelling repository, it is intended that the findings of this research will be of practical use and have a direct influence on practice in the victims sector in Northern Ireland and elsewhere. 

The project is led by Dr. Cheryl Lawther, Prof. Kieran McEvoy and Dr. Lauren Dempster.  For more information, please visit the project website: 




Tea and coffee available



Commissioner Judith Thompson


Project overview and table discussions

Overview from project team and facilitated discussions


Summary and next steps




To register, contact Peter Mann on or 028 90 31 1000 by 12pm on 9 October 2017.