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14 April 2015

​The next phase of evidence to the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has begun with Chair Frances Oldham saying the process is not a trial.

Mrs Oldham said some witnesses will be facing allegations of abuse but the approach taken will be "inquisatorial, not adversarial". She added that the final report will "undoubtedly make conclusions."

Counsel to the Inquiry Harriet Jerram outlined the type of witnesses that will be seen during the next phase, which begins in earnest at the end of May.

They include those who worked in children's homes but are not facing allegations of abuse; former staff, foster carers and visitors who are accused of mistreating children; doctors and psychologists who came into contact with looked after children and those who worked in children's services.

Ms Jerram said the purpose of the next phase of evidence was for the Panel to understand the context in which abuse is said to have occurred and the systems which were in place and might have failed.

Counsel Paul Livinsgston is reading statements from former children in care, some of whom came forward in response to evidence from other witnesses.

The hearing continues at 1300 this afternoon with the first evidence from a witness who had worked in the care system.

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