Select Committee on the Inquiries Act 2005 -  Report
The Inquiries Act 2005: post-legislative scrutiny

Here you can browse the report which was ordered by the House of Lords to be printed 26 February 2014.


Terms of Reference


Chapter 1: Introduction

Constitution of the Committee

Inquiries into matters of public concern

Box 1: The purposes of inquiries

Constitutional importance of inquiries

The Government's approach to our inquiry

Our working methods

Our recommendations

Chapter 2: The background to the Act

Before 1921

The Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act 1921

The Salmon Royal Commission

Box 2: The six Salmon Principles

Inquiries under specific statutory powers

Developments after 2000

The Marchioness report

The Beldam Review, the Public Administration Select
Committee report and the Inquiries Bill

The Inquiries Act 2005

Remaining statutory provisions

Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse Act
(Northern Ireland) 2013

Chapter 3: When should there be a public inquiry?

Box 3: Examples of inquiries which investigated failure by
a regulatory or investigatory body

What type of inquiry? Statutory or non-statutory?

Compellability of witnesses and evidence on oath

Hearings in public

The Committee's view

Inquests as an alternative

Who should decide?

Box 4: Examples of ministerial reasons not to hold an

Giving reasons for not ordering inquiries

Chapter 4: Setting up an inquiry: the formalities

Constitution of the inquiry: appointment of the chairman

Judges as chairmen



The view of the senior judiciary: consultation or consent?

Panel members and assessors

Terms of reference

Consultation with interested parties

Chapter 5: Setting up an inquiry: the practicalities


Cabinet Office Guidance

Lessons Learned papers

Box 5: Lessons Learned papers

A Central Inquiries Unit

Box 6: A Dedicated Inquiries Unit

Procedure protocols

Cost of inquiries

Comparisons of costs: Hamill and Rodney

Initial planning

Statutory and non-statutory: the cost

Chapter 6: Independence of inquiries

The Joint Committee on Human Rights

Views of judges

Views of interest groups

The Government's views

The Committee's view

Restrictions on public access

Withholding material from publication

Termination of appointment of a member of the panel

Chapter 7: Inquiry procedure

Inquisitorial or adversarial

Counsel to the inquiry

Appointment of counsel

Legal representation for core participants and witnesses

Core participant status

Powers and duties of legal representatives

Expenses of legal representation

Assistance to core participants and witnesses

Warning letters

Other amendments to rules

Rules 2 and 18: inquiry records

Rule 9: written statements

Rules 20-34: awards of costs

The Scottish and Northern Irish Rules

Freedom of Information Act 2000

Use of evidence in subsequent proceedings

Chapter 8: Recommendations of inquiries

Judicial and non-judicial chairmen

Serving judges

Other chairmen

Overseeing implementation

Chapter 9: Overview of the Inquiries Act

Summary of Conclusions and Recommendations

Appendix 1: List of Members and Declarations of Interest

Appendix 2: List of Witnesses

Appendix 3: Call for Evidence

Appendix 4: Table of inquiries established under the Inquiries
Act 2005 or converted into inquiries under the act

Appendix 5: Table of inquiries since 1990 under other
legislation and non-statutory inquiries

Appendix 6: Abbreviations, acronyms and websites

Evidence is published online at and available for inspection at the Parliamentary Archives (020 7219 5314)

References in footnotes to the Report are as follows:

Q refers to a question in oral evidence.

Witness names without a question reference refer to written evidence.

previous page contents next page

© Parliamentary copyright 2014