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Inquiry proposed into historical child abuse

06 November 2012

The Council of Ministers is asking the States to approve Terms of Reference for a Committee of Inquiry into historical child abuse in Jersey.

Ministers are proposing the Committee should be led by a legallly qualified Chairman with a legal/judicial background who is independent of Jersey and of all interested parties.

It is also proposed that:

  • the selection panel should include the Greffier of the States and two independent people with appropriate experience from the United Kingdom
  • the Jersey Appointments Commission should oversee the appointment process of the Chairman
  • the Chairman should be supported by one or two panellists, also recruited from outside Jersey, with at least one lay member from an island community and one panellist with child care experience
  • the proposed Chairman should recommend any changes to the Terms of Reference for approval by the Assembly and set out the proposed process for conducting the Inquiry, having consulted with interested parties where necessary
  • the Committee of Inquiry should be requested to complete its work within 12 months of starting the inquiry

The Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, said “This proposition reflects the belief of Ministers that holding an inquiry is the correct course of action for our community. It also reflects the Assembly’s decision in 2011 to hold such an Inquiry.

“Having considered the issues raised by two reports commissioned into the detailed structure of such an inquiry, we have decided to use the Verita recommendations as the foundation for our Terms of Reference.

“We believe the inquiry we are proposing will provide a trusted forum where witnesses can share their experiences, where a healing process can begin and through which we can develop a shared understanding of the lessons which need to be learned from our past.”

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