The work of IICSA has been quietly progressing; sometimes the subject matter hits the headlines but much has not. A brief summary below notes the current progress of the investigations.
Accountability and Reparations – following the hearing late last year a report is expected this summer. With the focus on redress schemes in other jurisdictions and by individual organisations it would be surprising if redress were not a key recommendation.
Cambridge House, Knowledge View and Rochdale – report published.
Child Sexual Exploitation by Organised Networks – a preliminary hearing proceeded on 2 May. The investigation noted that there have already been a large number of reports with regards to this issue so the focus will be on whether recommendations have been implemented and if not, why not. After initial research and a review of published data, the Inquiry sought specific information from 13 local authority areas. From that information eight themes and six geographic areas were identified as the focus of the investigation. Core participant status has been granted to 14 applicants. This investigation will now focus on gathering evidence and the full hearing will most likely be in 2020.
Children in Custodial Institutions – report published.
Children Outside the UK – report published in connection with child migration. The second phase of this investigation is considering the adequacy of the civil framework for the prevention of, and notification to foreign authorities, of foreign travel by individuals known to the UK authorities as posing a risk to children. A public hearing was held in February 2019 and a report is expected in autumn.
Institutional Responses to Allegations Concerning Lord Janner – a preliminary hearing was due later this month but has been delayed to 24 September. The delay is so as to avoid duplication of the work of the IOPC which is ongoing. The public hearing is timetabled for February 2020.
Lambeth Council – a preliminary hearing in October 2018 noted the extent of documentation which was substantial. That has clearly impacted upon the timetable for the progression of this investigation.
Nottinghamshire Councils – public hearings proceeded in autumn 2018 and the Inquiry is working towards publishing its report in summer 2019.
The Internet and Child Sexual Abuse – the public hearing will commence on 13 May for two weeks. The focus will be on the response of the internet industry, including online platforms, social media sites and software companies to child sexual abuse. Consideration will also be made of the effectiveness of government policy in this areas. Evidence will be heard from representatives of Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, the police and government.
The Anglican Church – the report in connection with the Diocese of Chichester and Peter Ball is due for publication on 9 May. A further public hearing will commence on 1 July.
Residential schools – the first public hearings which consider abuse in identified schools with a focus on music, special and closed schools (prep and schools for boys with behavioural/emotional problems) proceeds at the end of September. A further phase considering themes including governance, inspection, recruitment and termination of employment, whistleblowing, peer on peer abuse and school cultures will proceed in 2020.
The Roman Catholic Church – the first report in this investigation which considered abuse at Ampleforth and Downside has been published. Further reports following public hearings focused on The Archdiocese of Birmingham (due summer 2019) and on Ealing Abbey (due autumn 2019) are awaited. A further public hearing will proceed in October.
Westminster – public hearings were heard in February which included amongst other issues possible conspiracy, cover-up, interference or tolerance of abuse by those connected with Westminster, as well as whether there are adequate safeguarding and child protection policies in place in political parties, government departments and agencies. The report for this investigation is expected in early 2020.
Child Protection in religious organisations and settings – see our blog for full details.
Authored by Paula Jefferson, Partner, BLM