IICSA gagging orders. Good or bad?

Inquiries Act 2005 Restriction Order pursuant to section 19(2)(b)

1. The Inquiry has established a Truth Project with the purpose of encouraging victims and survivors of child sexual abuse to share their experiences of abuse with the Inquiry.

2. The Chair of the Inquiry has determined that it is conducive to the Inquiry fulfilling its terms of reference and necessary in the public interest for victims and survivors who share their experience of child sexual abuse to be able to do so in a private and confidential forum. This order is made to ensure that the Truth Project is, and remains, private and confidential.

3. As part of the Truth Project, the Inquiry will hold hearings designated by the Chair as Truth Project private hearings. At these hearings, victims and survivors of child sexual abuse will share their experience of abuse with members of the Inquiry. The Inquiry also receives accounts of child sexual abuse from victims and survivors via the Inquiry’s online form, by telephone, via email, and in writing. For the purposes of this order, all accounts of child sexual abuse made to the Inquiry by victims and survivors of such abuse are made within the scope of the Truth Project, except where the person giving the account is doing so in their capacity as a witness in an investigation conducted by the Inquiry.

4. Having regard to paragraph 9 of the Inquiry’s terms of reference, and sections 19(1) and 19(3)(b) of the Inquiries Act 2005, the following restrictions are imposed pursuant to section 19(2)(b) of the Inquiries Act 2005: a. There shall be no public access to any hearing of the Inquiry designated by the Chair as a Truth Project private hearing. b. Disclosure or publication of the location or venue of a hearing designated by the Chair as a Truth Project private hearing is prohibited, except where the person making the disclosure or publication is: i. the Inquiry; or ii. a victim or survivor of child sexual abuse, or their designated representative, who is attending a Truth Project private hearing and is making the disclosure or publication to another person who is entitled to accompany him or her to the Truth Project private hearing. c. Disclosure or publication of the identity, or any details tending to indicate the identity, of any person who has provided or intends to provide an account within the scope of the Truth Project, is prohibited, except in the following circumstances: i. where the person making the disclosure or publication is the same person as the person who is providing or has provided the account of child sexual abuse to the Inquiry; or ii. where the Inquiry is required to disclose the person’s identify under a duty of disclosure to the police or other statutory agency; d. Disclosure or publication of all or any part of an account of child sexual abuse made to the Inquiry within the scope of the Truth Project is prohibited, except in the following circumstances:

i. where the person making the disclosure or publication is the same person as the person who has provided the account of child sexual abuse to the Inquiry and they are making the disclosure or publication for therapeutic purposes to a professional who is under a duty of confidentiality;

ii. where the Inquiry is required to disclose all or any part of the account under a duty of disclosure to the police or other statutory agency;

iii. where, and if so only to the extent that, the victim or survivor has given their consent to the publication, by the Inquiry, of an anonymised summary of their account.

5. For the avoidance of doubt, the restriction contained in paragraph 4(d) of this order does not prevent the person who has given an account to the Inquiry within the scope of the Truth Project from giving an account of the same events to another person so long as they do not indicate that this either was, or was not, the account provided to the Inquiry.

6. Due to the private nature of the Truth Project, the Inquiry will not make any findings of fact on the basis of any individual account shared within the scope of the Truth Project. It may, however, draw conclusions from the analysis of anonymised and aggregated evidence received as part of the Truth Project.

7. The Chair of the Inquiry may vary or revoke this restriction order by making a further order during the course of the Inquiry.

 

Hon. Lowell Goddard DNZM Chair of the Inquiry 12 November 2015

 

Truth Project

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About DR Laverty

Just me
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