if made by the Lord Chancellor, in pursuance of a resolution of either
if made by the Scottish Ministers, in pursuance of a resolution of the
A statutory rule made under this section is subject to negative resolution
(within the meaning of section 41(6) of the Interpretation Act (Northern
Ireland) 1954 (c. 33 (N.I.)).
A notice or notification under this Act must be given in writing.
“assessor” means an assessor appointed under section 12;
“chairman”, in relation to an inquiry, means the chairman of the inquiry;
“the course of the inquiry” and similar expressions are to be read in
accordance with subsection (2);
“date of conversion” has the meaning given by section 16(1);
“document” includes information recorded in any form (and see
“event”, except in sections 14 and 47, includes any conduct or omission;
“inquiry”, except where the context requires otherwise, means an inquiry
“inquiry panel” is to be read in accordance with section 3(2);
“interested party”, in relation to an inquiry, means a person with a
particularly significant interest in the proceedings or outcome of the
“interim report” means a report under section 25(3);
“joint inquiry” has the meaning given by section 33(2);
“member”, in relation to an inquiry panel, includes the chairman;
“Minister” is to be read in accordance with section 1(2) (and see subsection
“Northern Ireland Minister” includes the First Minister and the deputy
First Minister acting jointly;
“public authority” has the same meaning as in the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (c. 36);
“the relevant Parliament or Assembly” means whichever of the following
in the case of an inquiry for which the Treasury is responsible,
in the case of an inquiry for which any other United Kingdom
Minister is responsible, or one for which the Secretary of State
exercising functions by virtue of section 46(2) is responsible, the
House of Parliament of which that minister is a member;
in the case of an inquiry for which the Scottish Ministers are
responsible, the Scottish Parliament;
in the case of an inquiry for which the National Assembly for
Wales is responsible, that Assembly;
in the case of an inquiry for which a Northern Ireland Minister
is responsible, the Northern Ireland Assembly;
“the relevant part of the United Kingdom”, in relation to an inquiry,
means the part specified under section 32(1);
“report” means a report under section 25(1);
“responsible”, in relation to an inquiry, is to be read in accordance with
“Scottish public authority” has the same meaning as in the Freedom of
Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (asp 13);
“setting-up date” means the date specified under section 5(1)(a);
“statutory provision” means a provision contained in, or having effect
under, any enactment, Act of the Scottish Parliament or Northern
“terms of reference”, in relation to an inquiry under this Act, has the
meaning given by section 5(6);
“United Kingdom Minister”—
means the holder of a Ministerial office specified in Part 1, 2 or
3 of Schedule 1 to the Ministerial and other Salaries Act 1975
(c. 27) or a Parliamentary Secretary;
also includes the Treasury.
But a reference to a United Kingdom Minister does not include a
reference to the Secretary of State discharging functions by virtue of
References in this Act to the course of an inquiry are to the period beginning
with the setting-up date, or (in the case of an inquiry converted under section
16) the date of conversion, and ending with the date on which the inquiry
comes to an end (which is given by section 15).
References in this Act to producing or providing a document, in relation to
information recorded otherwise than in legible form, are to be read as
references to producing or providing a copy of the information in a legible
References in this Act to “the Minister”, in relation to an inquiry, are to the
Minister or Ministers responsible for the inquiry.
For the purposes of this Act a Minister is “responsible” for an inquiry if he is
the Minister, or one of the Ministers, by whom it was caused to be held under
section 1 or converted under section 16.
This is subject to section 35(2)(a).
Transitory, transitional and saving provisions
Section 16 applies whether the original inquiry was caused to be held before or
after the commencement of that section.
For the purposes of that section, an inquiry appointed otherwise than under
this Act includes a tribunal of inquiry appointed in pursuance of resolutions of
both Houses of Parliament under section 1 of the Tribunals of Inquiry
(Evidence) Act 1921 (c. 7).
In relation to an offence committed before the commencement of section 281(5)
of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (c. 44), the reference in section 36(8)(a) above
to 51 weeks is to be read as a reference to six months.
This Act does not affect—
any power of Her Majesty to establish a Royal Commission, or
except as provided by section 16 or by sections 47 to 50 (and Schedules
1 to 3), any power of a Minister or other person (whether under a
statutory provision or otherwise) to cause an inquiry to be held
otherwise than under this Act.
The repeal by this Act of any statutory provision under which an inquiry has
been caused to be held does not affect any power or duty conferred or imposed
in respect of the inquiry, and accordingly—
the inquiry may continue,
any report may be submitted and published, and
any proceedings arising out of the inquiry may be taken or continued,
as if the enactment had not been repealed.
Suspension of devolved government in Northern Ireland
This section applies in relation to any time when section 1 of the Northern
Ireland Act 2000 (c. 1) (suspension of devolved government in Northern
Functions conferred by this Act on a Northern Ireland Minister may be
discharged by the Secretary of State (and a reference to an inquiry for which a
Northern Ireland Minister is responsible is to be read accordingly).
In relation to such functions, this subsection applies in place of paragraph
4(1)(a) to (c) of the Schedule to the Northern Ireland Act 2000.
A requirement under this Act to consult any Northern Ireland Minister is to be
read as a requirement to consult the Secretary of State.
In the case of rules under section 42 made by the Secretary of State by virtue of
subsection (3)(d) of that section and subsection (2) above, subsections (4)(a)
and (5)(a) of that section apply in relation to the Secretary of State as they apply
in relation to the Lord Chancellor.
Inquiries under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000
Section 14 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (c. 8) (cases in which
the Treasury may arrange independent inquiries) is amended as follows.
In subsection (2)(b)(i), after “by this Act” there is inserted “, or by any previous
In subsection (3)(b), for the words after “but for a serious failure” there is
the regulatory system established by Part 6 or by any
previous statutory provision concerned with the official
listing of securities; or
the operation of that system.”
After subsection (5) there is inserted—
“Event” does not include any event occurring before 1st December 2001
(but no such limitation applies to the reference in subsection (4) to
Inquiries etc under Northern Ireland legislation
For section 23 of the Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954 (c. 33 (N.I.))
(inquiries and investigations) there is substituted—
Inquiries and investigations
The provisions of Schedule A1 to this Act shall have effect in relation to
any local or other inquiry or any investigation which a Minister or
Northern Ireland department causes to be held or made under any
enactment passed or made—
after the commencement of this Act, and
before the commencement of section 48 of the Inquiries Act
The Schedule set out in Schedule 1 to this Act is inserted into that Act as
Minor and consequential amendments
Schedule 2 (minor and consequential amendments) has effect.
In Schedule 1 to the National Assembly for Wales (Transfer of Functions)
Order 1999 (S.I. 1999/672) a reference to an Act that is amended by Schedule 2
to this Act is to be read as referring to that Act as so amended.
Repeals and revocations
The Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act 1921 (c. 7) is repealed.
The provisions set out in Schedule 3 are repealed or revoked to the extent
This Act and any provisions made under it bind the Crown (but do not affect
Her Majesty in her personal capacity or in right of Her Duchy of Lancaster or
The preceding provisions of this Act come into force on such day as the Lord
Chancellor may appoint by order made by statutory instrument.
Before making an order under this section the Lord Chancellor must consult
the Scottish Ministers, the National Assembly for Wales and the First Minister
and deputy First Minister.
An order under this section—
may include any transitory, transitional or saving provision that the
Secretary of State considers necessary or expedient;
may appoint different days for different purposes.
This Act extends to the whole of the United Kingdom.
This Act may be cited as the Inquiries Act 2005.
Nothing in this Act shall impose any charge on the people or on public
funds, or vary the amount or incidence of or otherwise alter any such charge
in any manner, or affect the assessment, levying, administration or
application of any money raised by any such charge.