Report of the Internal Review

Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse
December 23, 2016

Public hearings

Public hearings are central to the Inquiry’s work to examine and expose institutional failures.

During 2016 we held 11 preliminary hearings and 205 core participants have been designated across seven investigations. The Inquiry has sent legal requests to hundreds of institutions likely to have relevant information asking them to submit such evidence. We have received 86,000 documents so far.

The review has considered in detail each of the Inquiry’s existing investigations, to make sure that they remain fit for purpose and can be delivered in an appropriate timeframe. The Inquiry remains committed to pursuing each of these, as they play an important part in its task of examining institutional failure. We are refining the methodology for each investigation and will use a range of techniques to ensure they remain focused and deliverable. These include the use of statutory powers to obtain relevant evidence, reviews of official records, case studies, public hearings, primary research, issues papers and seminars, as appropriate.

We will accelerate the progress of public hearings and will hold four public hearings during 2017:

? In February, the first part of the child migration programmes case study in the Children Outside the UK investigation will be held. This will hear evidence from experts and others to provide an overview of the child migration programmes;

? In July, the second part of the child migration programmes case study will be heard. This hearing will cover evidence on behalf of key institutions based in England and Wales which were responsible for sending children overseas as part of the migration programmes;

? In October, a hearing in relation to the Cambridge House, Knowl View and Rochdale investigation; and

? In December, a hearing in relation to the English Benedictine Congregation case study in the child sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church investigation.

We are also planning public hearings in the Internet investigation and Chichester Diocese case study in the Anglican Church investigation in early 2018.

For the first time, we are providing a progress report for each investigation (Annex A). This includes proposed changes to the scope and timing of the hearing for the investigation into the institutional responses to allegations of sexual abuse involving the late Lord Janner of Braunstone QC. Annex A also includes information about key milestones in the investigations and more details about the Inquiry’s working methods for investigations such as those into failures in Lambeth and Rochdale. If the Inquiry identifies matters which require investigation in order for it to fulfil its terms of reference, it is able to launch further investigations as necessary.

In addition to the public hearings, the programme of preliminary hearings will continue.

Preliminary hearings are an important mechanism for updating core participants and the public on the progress of investigations. They also allow the Chair to hear legal submissions and make the procedural decisions that are necessary to progress the investigation to a public hearing. The preliminary hearings will cover a number of subjects, including the child migration programmes case study, accountability and reparations for victims and survivors of abuse and the investigation into institutional responses to allegations of child sexual abuse involving the late Lord Janner of Braunstone QC.

Hearings will be held in the Inquiry’s new hearing centre in Southwark in central London.

Initial agreement was reached with the landlord on 1 November and preparatory work is now underway. The new centre is expected to be ready at the end of May 2017. Any hearings before that date will be held in the International Dispute Resolution Centre in central London - a venue used previously by other public inquiries.








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