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Do we get public inquiries when we need them?

Civil liberties and human rights organisations are to give evidence to the House of Lords Committee on the Inquiries Act 2005, next Wednesday 6 November.

Ms Helen Shaw from INQUEST, Ms Rachel Robinson from Liberty and Ms Susan Bryant from Rights Watch UK will all give their views to the Committee, with a particular emphasis on their respective campaigns to get inquiries established.

The Committee is investigating how well the Act ensures that public inquiries are carried out as effectively and thoroughly as possible, and next week's evidence session will take a close look at the process of, and transparency in, setting up inquiries.

Other questions that the witnesses will face include:

  • Is the Minister the right person to decide to establish a statutory inquiry?
  • Should a Minister who decides not to hold a public inquiry have to give reasons for that decision?
  • Is there a case for a body to be set up with general oversight of the implementation of inquiries?
  • Should interested parties and victims' families be consulted before the terms of reference are set?

The evidence sessions will start at 10.40am on Wednesday 6 November in Committee Room 4 of the House of Lords.

The session will be webcast at and is also open to the public. Journalists wishing to attend should go to Parliament's Cromwell Green Entrance and should allow time for security screening.

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