Recommendations - First stage

Public notice

The Robert Hamill Inquiry invites interested organisations and individuals to propose any matters which may be the subject of recommendations.

This stage is to close on Tuesday 1 June 2010.  Suggestions received after this date are unlikely to be considered.

The process

The terms of reference of the Robert Hamill Inquiry call for it to make recommendations. These may relate to any matters which have arisen during the course of the Inquiry.

The consideration of recommendations will take place in three stages:

  • Stage 1: Inviting proposals from interested organisations and individuals on any matter arising during the course of the Inquiry which may usefully be the subject of recommendation;
  • Stage 2: Consulting on those matters which have been proposed for the purpose of identifying which recommendations can usefully be made;
  • Stage 3: Formulating final recommendations and identifying lessons learnt.

The following broad areas have already been put forward:

Initiating an Inquiry

1.                   Central point of reference for calls for an Inquiry

2.                   Independent or central body to decide if an Inquiry should be established

3.                   Central sponsoring department

4.                   Who should decide the format of the Inquiry

Inquiry Processes

5.                   Setting the terms of reference

6.                   The Inquiries Act 2005 and the Inquiry Rules 2006

7.                   Article 2 compliance

8.                   Treatment of Public Interest Immunity

9.                   Requests for disclosure of documents

10.                 Procedure for the questioning of witnesses by legal representatives

Treatment of Witnesses

11.                 Interview process

12.                 Legal assistance and representation

13.                 Anonymity

14.                 Giving of oral evidence

15.                 Witness handling by Inquiry witness team

16.                 Publication of oral testimony of witnesses on Inquiry website

Coroners Service for Northern Ireland

17.                 Possible extension of powers to act as a form of public Inquiry

18.                 Powers of compulsion

19.                 Powers to recommend an Inquiry

Forensic Science Northern Ireland - FSNI

20.                 Communications with police

21.                 Funding

Non Governmental Organisations

22.                 Involvement with terms of reference

23.                 Observer status

24.                 Giving of evidence

Public Prosecution Service Northern Ireland – PPSNI  

25.                 Counsel interviewing witnesses

26.                 Oversight – for example by the Attorney General or Police Ombudsman’s Office for Northern Ireland 

Northern Ireland State Pathologist’s Department

28.                 A need for more neuropathologists

29.                 Communications with police/prosecutors

30.                 Disclosure of defence expert report

Police Service of Northern Ireland - PSNI   

31.                 Recommendations identified by the Independent Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland in its report published in 1999 [the ‘Patten report’] but not already dealt with

32.                 Matters not identified by the above report but which should be covered by the Inquiry’s recommendations

Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland - PONI

33.                 Any flaws inherent in the Independent Commission for Police Complaints (ICPC)  which have not been dealt with by its replacement with PONI

34.                 Any matters in PONI system upon which recommendations could be made

Please note that the Inquiry Panel cannot undertake that it will make recommendations on every subject that is raised, but it will give reasonable consideration to them.

What to do now

Responses should be sent to the Inquiry as follows:

By email to:

By post to:       

The Robert Hamill Inquiry
PO Box 50156

Telephone:        020 7976 0473

Fax:                   020 7222 9297