The Chair of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry, Mrs Frances Oldham QC, on Thursday (13/8/15) made the following statement at the end of Phase 1b of Public Hearings:
“During this phase of evidence, the Inquiry has received excellent cooperation from the vast majority of witnesses, who have assisted the work of the Inquiry.
“However, we have been hampered by the late and non-disclosure of important documents, largely by the various States’ Departments, but also from the Law Officers Department. These include HR records, disciplinary and other investigations, policies, procedures, reports and emails, which have either failed to be disclosed, or have been disclosed after the relevant witness has given their evidence. Over the coming weeks, the Inquiry will review the recent disclosure and any documents which are forthcoming and will consider whether witnesses need to be recalled as a result.
“Furthermore, in relation to specific disclosure requests that have been outstanding for a number of months, the Inquiry will consider setting a final date for the provision of these documents or written confirmation that the documents do not exist. Failure to provide documents may lead to adverse inferences being drawn by the Inquiry in its final report.”
Public hearings will resume on Tuesday 8 September with four days of hearings to hear evidence from various members of committees of the States of Jersey.
A detailed timetable will be made available at the beginning of September.
In the meantime the Inquiry team will continue their intense preparation for the next phase of the Inquiry.
Hearings will recommence in earnest the week beginning 12 October with the Panel hearing any outstanding evidence relating to Phase 1b of the Inquiry. They will also hear evidence relating to Phase 2 where they will look at the decisions taken in relation to the timing of the police investigation and prosecutions of alleged abusers.