Public inquiries: catharsis or pointless?
Date: 5 December 2012
Public inquiries succeed in exposing many hard truths, but are not themselves devoid of shortcomings, says Bindmans lawyer Anna Mazzola.
In the past few months, the headlines have been dominated by talk of public inquiries: Savile, Hillsborough, Waterhouse, Leveson. At the moment, the spotlight is on inquiries into child sex abuse and into the murky world of collusion between politicians, the police and the press. Previous inquiries have dealt with similarly weighty matters: the murder of Stephen Lawrence, the sinking of the Marchioness, Bloody Sunday, Harold Shipman, David Kelly’s death and the legality of the war in Iraq. Research in May this year found that less than a third of those interviewed had confidence in the inquiries system. So are lessons really being learned?
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