A free conference looking at issues related to the Child Abuse Inquiry has been scheduled in November by barristers’ chambers and aims to offer an inside look at the investigation.

The opening description reads like this:

“The reasons behind the recent resignations at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (the Inquiry), the ongoing media debate about anonymity for the accused and/or deceased, the personal, financial and organisational costs of dealing with the impact of sexual abuse, the scope of and scepticism about the Inquiry investigations and how to provide support to those who have been abused are just some of the issues, challenges and topics of current relevance to non-recent sexual abuse allegations and how we ensure the protection of children today.”

It strikes us as odd that the first item listed relates to offering up reasons as to why an unusual number of lawyers have fled the Inquiry. Whether that’s because the entire exercise is just designed to repair any damage to the legal profession’s reputation- the media have bee invited to attend this event – or is simply a way to entice lawyers and journalists to come along, it’s unlikely that the truth will be offered up.

The conference is divided into five segments:

•   Unfounded allegations/anonymity: ‘trial by media’ (panel debate)
•   The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA)
•   Consent (debate)
•   Abuse claims update
•   Supporting victims and survivors

The panel members are:

•   Harvey Proctor, former Member of Parliament for Basildon and Billericay
•   Peter Skelton QC, Crown Office Row – counsel to the Accountability & Reparations
•   Anne Tiivas, Director, Child Protection in Sport Unit, NSPCC
•   Samantha Cohen, 9 Bedford Row chambers
•   David Greenwood, Director & Solicitor, Head of Child Abuse Department, Switalskis Solicitors
•   Richard Scorer, Principal Lawyer, Head of Practice Improvement, Slater and Gordon Lawyers
•   Jonathan Wheeler, Partner, Bolt Burdon Kemp
•   Neil Block QC, William Norris QC and Bernard Doherty, 39 Essex Chambers
•   Fintan Canavan, Frank Hughes, Paula Jefferson and Michael Pether, BLM

This event will be recorded. If you’d like to attend, you can register here, or call Ellie Hamilton on 0161 819 3250. 

The event takes place on Monday 24th November, 2016 from 9am-5pm, and will be held at 39 Essex Chambers, 81 Chancery Lane, London, WC2A 1DD.

Thank you to Theresa Cooper for sharing this item with us.