Goddard Inquiry announces preliminary hearings

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Rebecca Sheriff

Following on from a number of preliminary hearings held in March as part of its investigations into Greville Janner, the Church of England, Lambeth Council and Rochdale, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has announced that it will hold a number of further preliminary hearings over the course of July.

On 26 July the Inquiry will hold another preliminary hearing in relation to allegations of sexual abuse involving Greville Janner as well as institutional responses to these allegations. This will be followed by three preliminary hearings on 27 July which will again look at the Church of England, Lambeth Council and sexual abuse in Rochdale. The purpose of these hearings is to consider what progress has been made since the initial hearings in March and to provide further directions for the investigations going forwards.

On 28 July, the Inquiry will hold an initial preliminary hearing as part of its investigation into Child Sexual Abuse within the Catholic Church. The investigation is set to look at numerous case studies starting with a look at the English Benedictine Congregation which has faced numerous reports of child sexual abuse perpetrated by members of the Order and within institutions and schools which it ran. The Inquiry is currently seeking applications for Core Participants for this investigation. Those who wish to apply for Core Participant status will have until 4pm on 24 June to submit their application.

Also on 28 July, the Inquiry will hold a preliminary hearing in relation to the Protection of Children Outside the United Kingdom. This investigation will consider whether institutions and organisations based in England and Wales have taken their responsibility to protect children outside the United Kingdom from sexual abuse seriously. The investigation will look at institutions such as the armed forces and Foreign and Commonwealth Office which have recruited individuals to work abroad who have gone on to abuse children.

Finally, on 29 July the Inquiry will hold a preliminary hearing as part of its investigation into Accountability and Reparations for Victims of Child Sexual Abuse. This promises to be an interesting strand of the inquiry which will examine support services and legal remedies available to victims and survivors of child sexual abuse. The Inquiry has stated that it will look at reports of obstructive insurance companies who are reluctant to pay compensation to survivors of child sexual abuse and whether our current civil justice system delivers genuine reparation.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse remains a mammoth long term task. Further updates will follow as preliminary hearings take place and these investigations get under way. 

Rebecca Sheriff is an associate solicitor in the Child Abuse team at Bolt Burdon Kemp. If you or a love one have a claim, contact Rebecca free of charge and in confidence on 020 7288 4828 or at rebeccasheriff@boltburdonkemp.co.uk. Alternatively, complete this form and one of the solicitors in the Child Abuse team will contact you. Find out more about the Child Abuse team.

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