This morning a busy Royal Courts of Justice saw the first of the preliminary hearings. This has considered the investigation relating to Lord Greville Janner. The hearing has considered applications for core participant status which has been granted to the Labour Party, the Home Office, Leicestershire County Council, Leicestershire Police, the CPS, the IPCC and the Department for Education.
In the opening statement Ben Emmerson QC has noted that the Inquiry Panel will be bound only by the terms of reference for the IICSA itself. In respect of this investigation there are a number of matters which it will seek to clarify. It will determine whether allegations are well founded (and that appears to be the approach that will be taken to the standard of proof); whether Janner was involved in child sexual abuse and may have misled a range of people about his conduct; and it will look at specific allegations. As expected, the Panel will be entitled to make findings on both general and specifications allegations as far as evidence allows. However it was emphasised that this investigation should not become a quasi-criminal trial and that it may not need to come to a conclusion on each and every allegation.
The public hearing in to this investigation will begin in September with evidence from victims heard first. It is anticipated that the hearing will last eight weeks and a report will be produced on this investigation in March 2017. At the preliminary hearing there was also much debate about publicity and whether there will be live coverage of the public hearings. No decision has been made about that at the current time.
Written by Paula Jefferson, partner