Understanding Legacy

When we mention legacy, or legacy of the past, we are referring to the lasting impacts that past events have had in Northern Ireland today. This impact varies amongst the many victims and survivors and as such, putting processes in place to deal with these impacts are complex.

A starting point for understanding how the legacy of the past might be addressed is to look at the needs of victims and survivors broadly. 

The Commission issued advice on Dealing with the Past in 2014.  This advice identified the following four key areas of need in relation to victims and survivors:

  1. Truth;
  2. Justice;
  3. Acknowledgement;
  4. Reparations.


These needs were informed by research conducted in 2012 and extensive consultation 
with victims, survivors and other key stakeholders and culminated in a major conference on Dealing with the Past in 2014. 

Click here to read a synopsis of the Commission’s Comprehensive Needs Assessment, published in February 2012

Click here to read the Commission’s Dealing with the Past Conference Report, published in March 2014

Later in 2014, The Stormont House Agreement then made proposals for mechanisms to help victims and survivors, and Northern Ireland as a whole, deal with the legacy of the past.  
Please click here to view an infographic summarising these proposed mechanisms and depicting how they link to the needs of victims and survivors.

The NIO Public Consultation