In January this year, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse invited applications for core participant status in relation to four of its investigations. For further information on core participants please read this document. Having considered each application received, the Chair granted some applications on paper and in March preliminary hearings were held to consider further submissions. The Inquiry has today announced the results of those applications and the documents relating to the decisions can be found on each of the investigations pages via the links below.
A total of 94 applications were received. Of these, 80 were granted, nine were declined and five remain to be considered. Where an organisation has made applications in relation to more than one investigation, this is counted as one application.
The Inquiry granted 18 applications from organisations and 59 applications from individual complainants, victims and survivors. Two groups, Minister & Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors (MACSAS) and the Shirley Oaks Survivors Association (SOSA) also were granted core participant status, both of whom represent a large number of complainants, victims and survivors of child sexual abuse. One application from a perpetrator was granted.
Out of a total of 36 the Inquiry granted 34 core participant applications - 27 individual complainants and seven organisations and institutions. Two applications were declined.
Out of a total of 43 the Inquiry granted 34 applications as core participants - 24 to individual complainants, victims and survivors, Minister & Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors group, eight organisations and institutions and one perpetrator, Peter Ball. Five further applications are still being considered by the Chair. Four applications were declined.
Out of a total of 15 the Inquiry granted 13 applications as core participants - eight complainants, victims and survivors, five organisations and institutions. Two applications were declined.
Out of a total of six, the Inquiry granted five applications as core participants - Shirley Oaks Survivors Association group representing hundreds of complainants, victims and survivors, and four organisations and institutions. One application was declined.
The Chair may designate a person as a core participant at any time during the course of the inquiry provided that person consents to being so designated. In deciding whether to designate a person as a core participant, the Chair must in particular consider whether:
- The person played, or may have played, a direct and significant role in relation to the matters to which the inquiry relates
- The person has a significant interest in an important aspect of the matters to which the inquiry relates
- The person may be subject to explicit or significant criticism during the inquiry proceedings or in the report, or in any interim report
A person ceases to be a core participant either on a date specified by the Chair in writing or at the end of the inquiry.
It is not necessary to be a core participant in order to provide evidence to the Inquiry. A witness may provide evidence to the Inquiry either by providing a witness statement or documents. Witnesses also may be asked to attend to give oral evidence during a public hearing. Witnesses may be legally represented if they wish and section 40 of the Inquiries Act 2005 gives the Chair the power to award expenses and legal costs to those who provide the Inquiry with evidence, whether they are core participants or not.
A core participant has a formal role as defined by legislation. Core participants are individuals, organisations or institutions that have a significant interest in the work of the Inquiry.Their role is restricted to the particular Inquiry investigation for which they have been granted core participant status, not the entire Inquiry.