Statutory inquiry into historical child sexual abuse

On 4 February, Home Secretary Theresa May announced that she plans to appoint Justice Lowell Goddard to lead the Independent Panel Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. Justice Goddard, a judge of the High Court of New Zealand, has accepted the post and will appear at a pre-appointment hearing before the Home Affairs Select Committee on 11 February.

The Home Office Press Release stated: the Inquiry will be placed on a statutory footing under the 2005 Inquiries Act, with the power to compel witnesses to give evidence; the current panel will be disbanded and replaced by a new panel selected against a set of criteria which will be published in the House of Commons Library and on Gov.uk; the Inquiry will consider whether, and the extent to which, public bodies and other important institutions have taken seriously their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse; it will seek to address public concern over failings exposed by appalling cases of organized and persistent child sexual abuse.

The announcement was made in the House of Commons by the Home Secretary, 4 Feb 2015 Vol 592(105) Col 275, and in the House of Lords by The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bates) (Con), 4 Feb 2015 Vol 759 (98) Col 654.

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