Appendix 1: Hallett Review Terms of Reference |
The Review's terms of reference as originally agreed
produce a full public account of the operation and extent of the
administrative scheme for OTRs;
· to determine
whether any letters sent through the scheme contained errors;
· to make
recommendations as necessary on this or related matters that are
drawn to the attention of the inquiry.
Given the timescale, the Lord Chief Justice insisted
on a document clarifying the purpose of the Review in greater
detail so that there could be no misunderstanding.
The purpose of the Review was explained in a letter
dated 10 March 2014 from Mr Julian King CMG CVO, then Director
General at the NIO, to the Lord Chief Justice. Mr King wrote as
The purpose of the review is to examine the operation
of the administrative scheme for OTRs. While the reviewer is free
to consider the circumstances that led to the establishment of
the scheme, a full examination of the political decisions and
agreements making up the Northern Ireland peace process is not
required. It is envisaged that to produce a public account of
the scheme the reviewer will not need to examine the detail of
every individual case dealt with under the scheme, but will look
at a sample of cases from across the scheme.
The reviewer may choose to look at the grounds
on which the police and prosecutors reached the decisions they
did and the general approach they used, but will not need to re-investigate
every case or make a fresh decision about whether a recipient
of a letter should or should not have been pursued for arrest
and prosecution. Decisions in respect of arrest and prosecution
were and are a matter for the police and prosecuting authorities.
If the reviewer decides to consider police or prosecution decisions
in this way, they will not examine the detail of every individual
case dealt with under the scheme, but will look at a sample of
cases from across the scheme.
The reviewer should investigate and form a view
on whether any of the letters issued under the scheme contained
errors. In this context 'errors' means the possibility that the
letter contained inaccurate or misleading information, as in the
Downey case. To investigate and form a view in respect of errors,
the reviewer will not be required to examine the detail of every
individual case dealt with under the scheme, but on the basis
of the information obtained from such checks as are considered
necessary by the reviewer, and from examination of the detail
of any case produced by such checks, will report to the extent
possible on whether there are errors in any of the letters sent.
The review should also examine and report on
how any errors came to be made, including any systemic failings
within the operation of the administrative scheme. In examining
how errors came to be made, the reviewer will not examine the
detail of every individual case dealt with under the scheme, but
will look at any case in which an error is found.
While it is open to the reviewer to consider
the general lawfulness and/or legal effect of the scheme and the
letters sent under it, the reviewer is not expected to reach a
conclusion on the specific legal effect of individual letters,
or any action taken or not taken as a result of the letter being
It is, as you will appreciate, essential that
any further errors should be identified as quickly as possible,
so that the NIO can take steps to correct them.