Hearings FAQS

Hearings mean that witnesses can give evidence orally, as well as in a written form. They are an important part of the inquisitorial process, so the Chair can establish as complete an understanding of the facts as possible.

All hearings will be open to the public and media unless a Restriction Order is in place.

More information on Restrictions Orders can be found here.

It is difficult to say, at this stage, who the Inquiry will call to give oral evidence. Not everyone who provides a witness statement to the Inquiry will need to then attend hearings to give evidence in person.

Those who are called will be told in good time, and support will be available to anyone attending at the Inquiry’s request.

Precise dates and times will be published on the Inquiry’s website, along with a revised timeline for the Inquiry’s work, in due course.

The location for hearings has not yet been decided. The Inquiry will provide an update on this in due course.

Yes. Unless specified, all hearings will be open to the public to attend. Depending on their location, the Inquiry may require prior registration for reasons of capacity. We will update on this in due course.

The Inquiry is committed to treating people fairly and will make reasonable adjustments where necessary.

If you have been asked to attend a hearing by the Inquiry, please do let us know if you have any disabilities or additional needs. This could be a physical or mental health issue, a learning disability or neurodiversity or another condition that may prevent you from participating fully. We will work with you as best we can to ensure that reasonable adjustments are made.

A reasonable adjustment is any action that helps to reduce the effect of a disability or difficulty that places an individual, in this instance who is engaging with the Inquiry, at a substantial disadvantage. Examples include providing information in a different format, or the use of regular breaks. These can be agreed in consultation with the Inquiry team.

Special measures are linked to the way in which a witness will give evidence at a hearing and will usually require a formal application to be made. Examples of Special Measures may be that a witness provides evidence behind a screen, or via video-link.

More information on how to make an application for special measures can be found here.