The resignation of Professor Michael Lamb from his position as a panel member of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry has prompted a statement from the Chair. This includes an indication that requests for documentation from relevant organisations will be made soon.
Prof Lamb as we noted yesterday resigned due to his concerns about Government interference in the work of the Inquiry. The statement now made does not address any of the specific concerns he raised but thanks him for his invaluable contribution to the Inquiry, in particular for sharing his expertise in how to listen to survivors sensitively.
The statement has sought to reassure that the Inquiry’s work continues. It has stressed that all evidence heard by the Inquiry to date remains important and relevant, is being held securely and remains confidential. Importantly, none of this evidence will have to be repeated. Private sessions with survivors of abuse will continue to be held across Scotland and beyond.
In addition the Inquiry has now pointed out it is about to start the process of obtaining documents from organisations with information relevant to the Inquiry. The remit of this Inquiry is narrower than for others so it is somewhat clearer which organisations are likely to be involved. They should have been preparing by considering documentation held. The Inquiry has no start date and is prepared to consider any relevant information within living memory. The process of compiling documentation may not therefore be a quick and straightforward task and should not be left until a request is made.
Written by Frank Hughes, partner