Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Draft suggested format for submissions to the UK Child Abuse Inquiry

There are many serious questions yet to be answered about the proposed UK Child Abuse Inquiry.

I am among those who have serious doubts about the current Chair, Fiona Woolf, the current Panel members and the current Terms of Reference.

As a consequence of similar concerns, some survivors are suggesting a boycott of the Inquiry until, for example, Fiona Woolf resigns as Chair.

Despite my grave reservation about Fiona Woolf, the Panel and the Terms of Reference, I believe that those who have concerns about child abuse and its cover-up would do well to make formal written  submissions to UK Child Abuse Inquiry, while being aware that major changes in personnel and Terms of Reference of the Inquiry are possible.

Where should submissions to the UK Child Abuse Inquiry be sent?

The contact information to allow submission of written evidence to the Inquiry is located here:
Contact: Independent Panel Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Given the likely vast amount of information that ought, in my view, to be submitted to the Inquiry finding a sensible structure as early as possible has significant potential advantages in terms of the Inquiry avoiding becoming bogged down in a morass of unstructured information. 

Here is a draft structure that I suggest might be useful.
  1. Personal details of the informant (ncluding contact details)
  2. Is permission given to disclose informant's identity on Child Abuse Inquiry Web site?
  3. Issues of concern (Express allegations of which you have information to the best of your ability).
  4. Organisation(s) whose conduct is of concern
  5. Individual(s) whose conduct is of concern
  6. Date(s) to which areas of concern relate
  7. Do you want to give oral evidence to the Inquiry?
A structure such as this would facilitate creation of a database of information.

Such a structure would assist the Inquiry Panel, I think and would also assist the Public Panel (see A draft proposal for a credible, definitive inquiry into UK child (sexual) abuse ) should such a Public Panel be appointed.

It would make it easier to identify individuals or organisations whose conduct has caused concern on multiple occasions.

I'd suggest expressing causes for concern (allegations, if you like) in as factual a way as possible. Anger on the part of survivors is fully justified but often doesn't help the reader to understand what is being referred to.

I'd value comments about whether the proposed is helpful and whether it can be usefully improved.

The above structure is an initial proposal only. But I hope that its potential to assist the efficiency of the Inquiry will be obvious.

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