Committee on Inquiries Act 2005 hear from inquiry Chairs

28 October 2013

Five former chairmen of public inquiries will be giving evidence this Wednesday 30 October to the House of Lords Committee on the Inquiries Act 2005.

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


Wednesday 30 October 2013, Committee Room 4, Palace of Westminster

At 10.10am

  • Lord Cullen, who conducted inquiries into the Piper Alpha oil platform disaster, the Dunblane Massacre and the Ladbroke Grove rail crash
  • Lord Gill, who chaired the ICL Inquiry into the 2004 industrial explosion in Glasgow in which 9 people died, will be the first to give evidence

They will be asked if they believe that non-statutory inquiries wield sufficient powers compared to statutory ones.

At 11.30am

  • Robert Francis QC, who conducted two inquiries into the Stafford Hospitals, one statutory and the other non-statutory
  • Professor Sir Ian Kennedy QC, who led the inquiry into baby deaths at the Bristol Royal Infirmary
  • Lord Bichard, who conducted the inquiry into the Soham murders

Purpose of the Session

All five witnesses will be asked a range of questions on subjects including:

  • The criteria ministers should apply in deciding whether or not a judge should chair an inquiry;
  • how generally the appointment process could be improved;
  • whether a chairman should act alone;
  • changes that might be needed to shorten the hearing and lessen the expense involved;
  • and the circumstances, if any, in which the chairman should be involved in the implementation of the inquiry’s recommendations.

Further Information

Images: iStockphoto

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