The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

In March 2015 the Home Secretary established the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse led by the Hon. Dame Lowell Goddard.  Dame Goddard has resigned and the inquiry is now chaired by Professor Alexis Jay.  The Inquiry is charged with conducting “an overarching national review of the extent to which institutions in England and Wales have discharged their duty of care to protect children against sexual abuse[1]”.  Information concerning George Bell has been submitted by the Diocese of Chichester to the Inquiry.

The Church of England was mindful of the work of the Inquiry but determined that it was still appropriate that the Church should conduct its own review into the case of George Bell.  It was judged that it was right that the Church should carry out its own investigations and that it was probable that there would be learning specific to the Church.

The following paragraphs are form material produced by the ICASA.

Evidence we receive from victims and survivors will be anonymised in our report. But anyone who provides us with evidence should be aware that the Inquiry has a statutory power to require anyone, including us, to give evidence and to provide documents to the Inquiry.  We may therefore be obliged to share documents and other evidence we receive with them.  That could include both the identity of anyone who provides us with evidence and the content of that evidence.

The Inquiry has detailed arrangements for protecting the identity of victims and survivors, across all the work it is carrying out.  Although we do not anticipate any difficulties, it is right that you should be aware that any decisions about anonymity or other restrictions on the public disclosure of information given to the Inquiry are made by Professor Alexis Jay and not by us.