LORDS

Lords hear from inquiry counsel and secretaries

16 October 2013

Mr Justice Jay, who as Robert Jay QC examined many of the witnesses during the Leveson Inquiry, and Jason Beer QC will give evidence next Wednesday, October 16, to the House of Lords committee investigating the Inquiries Act 2005. In a second session at 11.55am the Lords will then question officials who have been Secretaries of inquiries.

The Committee is investigating how well the Act ensures that public inquiries are carried out as effectively and thoroughly as possible.

Witnesses

At approximately 10.40am, Wednesday 16 October, in Committee Room 4, Palace of Westminster

  • Mr Justice Jay;
  • Jason Beer QC;

and at approximately 11.55am

  • Lee Hughes CBE, who was Secretary of the Hutton Inquiry and the Baha Mousa Inquiry, and of the inquest into the death of Princess Diana
  • Alun Evans, was Secretary of the Detainee Inquiry.

Purpose of the Session

The Lords will ask Mr Justice Jay why so many lawyers were needed for the Leveson Inquiry, when others have needed many fewer. Jason Beer QC, who is one of the Counsel to the Al Sweady inquiry, will also be giving evidence to the Committee on these issues.

The Lords will question Mr Justice Jay and Jason Beer QC at 10.40am, and questions will cover areas such as:

  • Is it right that the Chairman alone should appoint Counsel to the inquiry?
  • Who should be involved in setting the terms of reference for an inquiry and at what stage?
  • Should anything be done at the start of an inquiry to estimate the length and cost?

In a second session at 11.55am the Lords will then question officials who have been Secretaries of inquiries. The Lords will ask Mr Hughes and Mr Evans questions including:

  • Should a Chairman sit alone on the panel or with other members?
  • Should the Government have a dedicated inquiry unit to advise on the setting up of new inquiries?
  • How can the high costs, for example for staffing, IT and premises, be justified for some inquiries?

Further Information

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