Public hearings are more formal than private sessions. The Inquiry’s panel members will be in the room listening to all the evidence. Legal Counsel to the Inquiry will also be in the room. Counsel decide which witnesses will give evidence at public hearings, and normally they ask the witnesses all the questions.
Core participants and/or their lawyers may be in the room. Members of the public and press are usually in the room. If you are giving evidence at a public hearing your identity will be kept private, unless you decide otherwise. In addition you can ask to give evidence :
- in private (with only key people in the room)
- from behind a screen; or
- by video link from another room
The Inquiry will do whatever it can to help you feel safe and comfortable.
Every witness, when giving evidence, must promise to tell the truth. To do that the Chair will put each witness on oath or affirmation.
The Chair will not allow any witnesses to be questioned aggressively. What you say may, however, be tested in questioning as a matter of fairness to others. For example, you may be asked about evidence given by other witnesses, or about what is in records that are different from what you have said in your evidence.
Please click here to find out how to speak to the Inquiry.