Public inquiries

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The page will automatically redirect to Public Inquiries Research Briefings produced by the Commons Library, Lords Library and POST

Content published before December 2016

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on public inquiries. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

11.08.2016The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and background
This briefing concerns the establishment of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, a statutory Inquiry which formally opened in July 2015. This Inquiry replaced the previous, non-statutory, Inquiry set up in July 2014 which saw both of its Chairs resign; on 4 August 2016, Justice Goddard resigned as the Chair of the statutory inquiry and on 11 August it was announced that Professor Alexis Jay would be the new Chair.
01.07.2016Public Inquiries: non-statutory commissions of inquiry
This Briefing Paper examines non-statutory inquiries, including: non statutory ad hoc inquiries, committees of Privy Counsellors and Royal Commissions. A number of recent high profile inquiries, including both the Butler and Chilcot inquiries on the Iraq war, have been held as non-statutory inquiries.
01.07.2016The Chilcot Inquiry
The Iraq Inquiry, set up in 2009 and chaired by Sir John Chilcot, was originally expected to report within months. It will now be published on 6 July 2016
04.06.2015Iraq: calls for an inquiry and historical precedents
There were repeated calls for an inquiry into the 2003 invasion of Iraq from 2003 until the announcement of the Chilcot Inquiry in 2009
03.09.2012The Inquiries Act 2005
This Note explains the provisions of the Inquiries Act 2005. This Act is the main statutory basis for establishing an inquiry into matters of major current concern. The Note sets out details of each inquiry held under the Act and examines some of the procedural issues.

Lords Library Notes

27.06.2016Historical Child Sex Abuse Investigations
A number of investigations into historical child sex abuse in the UK have been launched by the police and public institutions in recent years. This follows allegations that claims of child sex abuse made against public figures had not been properly investigated in the past. This briefing focuses on the existing guidance for conducting these investigations and provides background information on recent investigations that have taken place. It has been written in preparation for a debate that is due to take place in the House of Lords on 30 June 2016 on the case for introducing statutory guidelines relating to the investigation of cases of historical child sex abuse.


12.06.2015Trends in Political Participation
Over the last fifty years in the UK, some aspects of participation in formal politics have decreased, such as political party membership. But new forms of participation, such as online activism, have emerged, which may become increasingly important, especially for younger people. This POSTnote discusses trends in political participation, with a focus on new forms, drivers of these trends and how UK democratic institutions are responding.

Early Day Motions

That this House notes the recent Policing Ombudsman's report into the Claudy bombing in 1972 and the disturbing references in that report to collusion between the then Secretary of ...
That this House congratulates Lord Archer on his Independent Public Inquiry into Contaminated Blood and Blood Products; welcomes his recommendations on forms of relief for the haemophilia ...
That this House believes the invasion of Iraq was a serious foreign policy error that has destabilised the Middle East; notes that public opinion is strongly in favour of a full public ...
That this House welcomes the publication of the Archer Report on the use of contaminated blood and blood products in NHS treatments and hopes that the victims of the use of such products ...
That this House believes that, as it has been five years since the start of the Iraq war, a wide-ranging inquiry into the commencement and conduct of the conflict is long overdue and ...


  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses