As we mentioned in a recent post, last week’s meeting between survivors of child abuse and panel members detailed a further meeting for today (you can catch a more complete schedule here).

That meeting has now taken place and one of the attendees, Ian Pace, has written a good summary of that session.

The points up for discussion and the matters raised are very similar to the 5th December meeting; namely making the inquiry a statutory one, getting a Chair sorted out sooner rather than later, expanding the terms of reference and looking at support for survivors who wish to talk about their own personal experiences during the Inquiry process.

The issue of chair also raised the notion of an English judge leading the inquiry. Ian mentions some hesitancy over this by the Home Office, who cite difficulties with asking judges to be relieved of their duties. The clue in relation to the preferred judicial contender is clear, as they mention the awkwardness of relieving a Supreme Court judge for example, which may then cause problems as the Supreme Court may be left with a deeply imbalanced crew in terms of gender. Lady Hale, of course, would be the perfect choice but having a member of the British judiciary, it could be argued, would be tantamount to allowing the Executive to have control over what is supposed to be a fully independent inquiry, and this in turn could have a negative effect on the process.

In order to counteract that point perhaps and to fulfill certainly the government’s and perhaps survivors’ wishes, it looks as if a judicial Chair will be found from farther afield, in another country, so watch this space.

Do read the summary if you have time; we are sure these meetings will prove to be important in the future.

Hat tip to JG for alerting us to this item.