Public Inquiry Update - 1st March 2018
For the benefit of the community we provide below an update as to how things currently stand regarding the Public Inquiry into Infected Blood & Blood Products.
What's happened recently?
As per our last update, it was confirmed on 8th February 2018 that the Chair of the Public Inquiry would be Mr Justice Langstaff which was very much welcome.
Since then and now significant efforts have been made to establish the Inquiry team and much progress has been made in this regard.
Factor 8 has been busy collating inventories of evidence, continuing with Freedom of Information requests in this respect and preparing to put forward our views on the Inquiries Terms of Reference. We have been working with a range of other groups to assist with some of these activities.
What's happening now?
Collins Solicitors are currently collating input from all those affected that they represent as to their views on what the Inquiry's Terms of Reference should be, they will then make representation to the Chair.
Additionally, advocacy organisations including Factor 8 are in the process of putting forward their views for Terms of Reference.
What happens next?
As of 1st May 2018, Mr Justice Langstaff will be working full-time on the Inquiry. However please do not think this means delay, quite the opposite, Mr Justice Langstaff and his team have already been and continue to be extremely pro-active, and as a result we expect much of the Inquiry "prep-work" and consultation will have been completed before May.
What are Terms of Reference?
Broadly speaking, an Inquiries Terms of Reference are the issues into which the Inquiry relates / what the Inquiry is being asked to do / look into. It is generally accepted that there is a fine balance with Terms of Reference so that they are sufficiently wide enough to capture all the necessary issues whilst also being focused enough to be meaningful.