This remains a draft. It is what I have incorporated into my original draft so far and from the comments which have been sent in. (The bullet points shoild be numbers; but WordPress converts Word numbers into blobs: sorry.)
Ultimately I should like to be able to state that specific individuals are willing to go along with the final draft. We can decide how names are collected in the next couple of days..
What follows would be put by the Government ministry responsible (Home Office or Ministry of Justice) to the inquiry. I hope everyone agrees it should be statutory judge and be chaired by a High Court (or higher: Court of Appeal or Supreme Court) judge.
TERMS OF REFERENCE OF CHILD SEX ABUSE INQUIRY
This child sexual abuse inquiry is set up within the terms of Inquiries Act 2005 under the chairmanship of a suitably qualified judge (not below High Court level).
The inquiry is asked and directed to inquire into the following and to make recommendations:
Part 1: Past events
- Establish the types of institutions (including specific institutions: eg schools, foster and other local authority home) in which sexual abuse of children occurred, or is alleged to have occurred, for a period since 1960.
- Establish and define in what other circumstances of any type (eg in Rochdale, Rotherham and Westminster) child sexual abuse occurred.
- Define the organisations, institutions and any other establishments caring for children, where child sexual abuse has been alleged, in the period under review; and assess critically their administration (including recruitment and supervision of staff), management and governance.
- Examine to what extent and why the current policy and regulatory framework has failed to protect children and bring to trial many of those who have sexually and otherwise abused children.
- Conduct interviews with all survivors (or victims) of child sexual abuse (in such circumstances as to confidentiality as the individual witness may reasonably demand), thus to collect, record and fully document as much information as possible directly or indirectly from those directly affected by experiences of child sexual abuse.
- Collect all evidence in whatever form the institutions listed above and, where these have been redacted, to ensure that they are opened initially in confidence with the inquiry; and in particular to collect and collate all evidence from those who reported abuse (‘whistle-bowers’).
- Consider whether child protection aspects of all institutions and establishments were fully appropriate (in objective and modern terms) to meet the proper needs of children and their safeguarding and protection.
- Examine and inquire fully as to any political and other oversight of children’s homes, fostering services schools and other establishments run by any public body concerned with child protection (eg local authorities and government departments and ministers). For the avoidance of doubt this aspect of the inquiry will require that witnesses be examined publically as to their involvement (and is likely to involve examination of former government ministers and other local and national politicians).
- Define all other relevant independent investigations and reports conducted in response to child sexual abuse issues in the period under review; and consult with those representative and other bodies to ensure that their views and recommendations are incorporated into the work of the inquiry and its recommendations.
- To consider the extent to which these inquiries should be co-ordinated and brought under the working of this inquiry; and, if appropriate to ensure that the workings of those inquiries be superseded by this inquiry.
- Consider the experiences of those witnesses who suffered abuse or allege abuse, and hear from staff who worked in these services, together with any other relevant witnesses. It will be for the inquiry to determine, by balancing the interests of justice and the public interest against the presumption of openness, whether, and to what extent, all or any of the evidence given to it should be given in private.
- Identify how and by what means concerns about abuse were raised and how, and to whom, they were reported.
- Establish whether systems existed to allow children and others to raise concerns and safeguard their wellbeing, whether these systems were adequate, and if not to identify such failings as in the inquiry’s opinion there were.
- Consider and define
- to what extent systems now exist to enable children and others who allege child sexual abuse to raise concerns and safeguard each individual child’s wellbeing;
- whether these systems are adequate; and
- if not to identify such failings as in the inquiry’s opinion there were.
- Review the actions of the agencies of the government, the justice system and politicians during the period under review, in particular when concerns came to light about child sexual abuse and how they were responded to by the agencies who should have responded.
- Consider how all those concerned with child protection (eg Police departments, Health authorities and Education and Social Services Departments) dealt with concerns about alleged abuse, what action they took, whether these actions were in line with the policies and procedures of the day, and whether those policies and procedures were adequate.
- Establish whether, where child sexual abuse was suspected:
- it was reported to the appropriate bodies, including police and children department;
- what action was taken by persons or other public bodies including the police;
- whether this was in line with policies and procedures of the day; and
- whether those policies and procedures were adequate.
Part 2: Recommendations
- Review fully present procedures and practices, and hear from appropriate individuals and representative and public bodies as to what their recommendations would be.
- Make full recommendations – including further primary and delegated legislation and statutory guidance – to ensure as far as possible that responses to such child sexual abuse as is identified by the inquiry never happens again.
- In particular, make recommendations as to the way in which public authorities (eg police, children departments, schools etc) and others respond to reports or other information of child abuse (including from ‘whistle-blowers’: child welfare informants) in whatever form it is provided or otherwise communicated; and in this connection to review fully the working of Children Act 2004 and Working Together to Safeguard Children (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/281368/Working_together_to_safeguard_children.pdf ).
- Make recommendations as to whether – and if so how – the law should be reformed to make reporting of child sexual, and other forms of, abuse mandatory.
- Make recommendations as to how institutional short-comings and criminal responsibility (especially amongst politicians, civil servants, police and schools) should be dealt with, both for past perceived failings, and how any failings should be dealt with in the future.
- Make recommendations as to how criminal and family court proceedings can be co-ordinated and operate for the maximum benefit of the welfare of children (including how their evidence should be adduced in any civil or criminal court).
- Make recommendations as to how survivors can be supported and assisted, for example, by health authorities; in giving their evidence in court; and in dealing with their abusers in later life.
- Make recommendations on criminal sentencing in the event that it is known that an abuser may receive parole; and if so how parole boards should deal with such applications where the survivor and his/her family (if affected) are still alive.
 This is the start date identified by the Jersey inquiry