Friday, March 18, 2016

Goddard Inquiry: A very judicial view of child sex abuse

It was always clear that when the independent panel into child sex abuse morphed into a full blown judicial inquiry under Lady Justice Goddard that the emphasis and atmosphere of the hearings  would change.

Now it has started with preliminary hearings into  Greville Janner, the Anglican Church, Rochdale and Sir Cyril Smith and the forthcoming one on Lambeth it could couldn’t be clearer.

The tone was set by Ben Emmerson, counsel to the inquiry, when he outlined the role of the inquiry. Meeting in Court no 73  at the imposing Royal Courts of Justice in London it will have the atmosphere of a trial, the trappings of a trial, and a huge surfeit of lawyers representing every conceivable interest you see at any trial.

Each separate inquiry over the next five years will amount to a  judicial hearing into the case and there will be a lot of them.The focus will be  into looking into  events surrounding each case  based on strict legal criteria.

This is very different to the workings of an independent panel inquiry.  (more...)

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