As noted in previous updates, the Chair of the Inquiry, Professor Alexis Jay OBE, is conducting an internal review to explore new ways to deliver the Inquiry's investigative work while remaining faithful to its Terms of Reference. On Monday, Professor Jay announced a new strategy to ensure the Inquiry meets its remit (see the press release and full statement). In particular, she expressed the view that the Terms of Reference are achievable because she is proceeding on the basis that the Inquiry will not seek to replicate a traditional public inquiry in respect of each of the thousands of institutions that fall within its remit.

Professor Jay intends to approach the Terms of Reference by making sure that the Inquiry presents recommendations for improved identification, prevention and response to child sexual abuse; based on a thorough analysis of historic incidents, current ways of working and emerging best practices. She emphasised that the Inquiry needs “a sharper focus” on developing its recommendations for future change, alongside its work to uncover the failures of the past.

Professor Jay has announced that the Inquiry will do this through a thematic approach based on four major themes (across which the elements of the Inquiry will be aligned):

a. Cultural - examining the attitudes, behaviours and values within institutions which prevent us from stopping child sexual abuse;
b. Structural - examining the legislative, governance and organisational frameworks in place, both within and between institutions;
c. Financial - examining the financial, funding and resource arrangements for relevant institutions and services; and
d. Professional and political - examining the leadership, professional and practice issues for those working or volunteering in relevant institutions.

Finally, in relation to the internal review which is proceeding, if the Inquiry forms the view that changes to its existing investigations might be necessary, it will ask Core Participants (and others who may be directly affected) for their views before any decisions are taken. Professor Jay expects to provide a progress update on this in the next few weeks. It seems quite likely that changes to the existing investigations will be necessary in light of the new strategy and focus on the Inquiry’s recommendations for future change.

The announcement comes amid media reports that victims may seek a judicial review in relation to the conduct of the Inquiry, in particular any amendment to the Terms of Reference.

For any questions regarding the work of the Inquiry or your organisation’s response to it, please contact our Public & Regulatory department.

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Claire Whittle

Senior Associate

+44(0)20 7551 7605

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Emma Dowden-Teale


+44(0)20 7551 7890

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Melanie Carter

Partner and Head of Public & Regulatory

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Posted on 19/10/2016 in Legal Updates

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