Those conducting investigations into historic child sexual abuse are likely to be faced with calls to comply with the investigative obligations of Article 3 ECHR. Where the investigative obligation arises the purposes of the Inquiry will include bringing the full facts to light; exposing culpable and discreditable conduct and bringing it to public notice; allaying suspicion of deliberate wrongdoing (if unjustified); and rectifying dangerous practices and procedures. The compelling need for local authorities affected will be to prepare early and thoroughly; to devote adequate resources, including early access to legal advice; to gather/order documentation; to anticipate issues; and to make early decisions on witnesses to call, evidence to be presented, stances to take and admissions to make.
In the article below Ashley Underwood QC and Bryan McGuire QC explain the nature of the Article 3 investigative obligation, and its likely impact on local authorities preparing for Inquiries.
Click here to read the article: 'Child Abuse Inquiries – A Ticking Bomb'.