Former Lord Justice and professor of law to give evidence to Lords committee investigating public inquiries

05 July 2013

The Rt Hon Sir Stephen Sedley, a former Lord Justice of Appeal, and Professor Adam Tomkins, a specialist in constitutional law, will appear at the House of Lords Select Committee on the Inquiries Act 2005 next Wednesday.

The committee is investigating whether the Act is an adequate framework for public inquiries which are fit for purpose, cost-effective and command public confidence.

On Wednesday 10 July the witnesses will be asked whether ministers have been given too much power under the terms of the Act.

The Act has been criticised on the grounds that ministers now have powers to set up, or not to set up, an inquiry, to determine what areas it should cover, to appoint the chairman and members, to suspend or terminate the inquiry, and restrict the publication of documents.

The witnesses will also be asked questions such as:

  • Are inquiries generally set up when they are needed?
  • Are there examples of cases where an inquiry would have been useful, but ministers declined to set one up?
  • Are the recommendations of inquiries adequately implemented?; and
  • Has The Inquiries Act 2005 made inquiries less costly? And if not, what could be done?

The evidence session will take place at 10.50am, on Wednesday 10 July in Committee Room 4 of the House of Lords.

Subscribe to Lords newsletter

Sign up for the House of Lords newsletter for the latest news, debates and business