The Independent Review of the Waterhouse Tribunal will today publish an Issues Paper calling for views on the scope of the original Inquiry and whether or not it sufficiently investigated specific allegations of child abuse in North Wales care homes.
Commenting on the call for further evidence, Mrs Justice Macur said:
‘To ensure I can thoroughly investigate allegations that the abuse of children in care in North Wales was not investigated in the course of the ‘Waterhouse Inquiry’ I am seeking further views on the issues relating to this Inquiry.
‘We want to hear from as many individuals and interested parties as possible. This paper offers an opportunity for people and organisations to provide information or evidence that may help to provide some answers.’
Some of the questions we are seeking views on are:
Were the terms of reference for the Waterhouse Inquiry sufficiently wide to address all matters of legitimate public interest and/or disquiet concerning allegations of continuing abuse of children in care and the nature of child care procedures and practice in North Wales?
Was any undue restriction placed upon the terms of reference to prevent a full inquiry or examination of the evidence in order to protect any individual or organisation?
If not, did the Tribunal appear to restrict the terms of reference to avoid investigation or examination of relevant evidence?
Was any pressure brought to bear upon those participating in the Inquiry whether as members of the Tribunal, its staff, legal teams, witnesses or contributors to deflect, deter or conceal evidence of relevance to the Waterhouse Inquiry?
Were witnesses prevented or discouraged otherwise from giving relevant oral evidence or making statements? If so, by whom and/or in what circumstances?
Were all relevant witnesses invited to furnish statements and/or be heard by the Inquiry? If not, why not?
Were witnesses given adequate support (e.g. legal advice, advocacy or counselling) to facilitate giving evidence to the Inquiry?
Were the arrangements made for the Inquiry, including but not limited to, notice of the Inquiry and its proceedings, witness interviewing, location of Tribunal headquarters, configuration of hearing chamber, oral evidence taking, conducive to encourage the participation of relevant witnesses?
The Independent Review was established following a statement by the Secretary of State for Justice, Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, on the 8 November that a review of Sir Ronald Waterhouse’s inquiry into the abuse of children in care in the Gwynedd and Clwyd Council areas would be established.
Mrs Justice Macur will make recommendations to the Secretary of State for Justice and the Secretary of State for Wales once the review is completed.
Notes to editors:
The Macur Review is an independent review established by the Government on 8 November 2012.
The terms of reference for this Review are:
To review the scope of the Waterhouse inquiry, and whether any specific allegations of child abuse falling within the terms of reference were not investigated by the Inquiry, and to make recommendations to the Secretary of State for Justice and the Secretary of State for Wales.
Mrs Justice Macur’s biography:
The Hon. Mrs Justice Macur was called to the bar in 1979, and was a practising barrister in the Midland and Oxford Circuit between 1979 and 2005. She was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1998, and was Assistant Recorder and then Recorder of the Crown Court between 1995 and 2005, when she was appointed Judge of the High Court of Justice (Family Division). She was Presiding Judge of the Midland Circuit between 1 January 2007 and 31 December 2011.
A photo of Mrs Justice Macur DBE is available via the press office.
The Macur Review is one of two new enquiries relating to North Wales. Keith Bristow, Director General of the National Crime Agency, has been asked by the Chief Constable of North Wales to examine specific, recent allegations made in relation to historic abuse. The investigation, called Operation Pallial, will assess recently received information and the historic police investigation and provide a public report with recommendations to the force and Home Secretary by April 2013. Media enquiries about Operation Pallial should be directed to: The Serious Organised Crime Agency Press Office 0870 268 8100.
For all media inquiries, contact the Macur Review press officer on 020 3334 3535. The Review team can be contacted at:Macur ReviewRoom TM 10.02Royal Courts of JusticeStrandWC2A 2LL Email
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