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New four-person panel named in child abuse inquiry

New four-person panel named in child abuse inquiry

A new four-person panel has been named by Home Secretary Theresa May, as the inquiry into child sex abuse in England and Wales officially starts work.

The panel members are Professor Alexis Jay, Drusilla Sharpling, Ivor Frank and Professor Malcolm Evans.

They will serve alongside the New Zealand judge, Lowell Goddard, who is heading the inquiry.

New terms of reference have been agreed, which include removing any cut-off dates.

Mrs May said the inquiry would also reflect the importance of survivors, who will be able to appear as witnesses.

The inquiry will have statutory powers to compel witnesses to determine whether institutions took seriously their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse in England and Wales.

The home secretary issued a written statement confirming she had set up the statutory independent inquiry into child sexual abuse with Justice Goddard as chairman.

Established under the Inquiries Act 2005 it has considerably more powers than its predecessor.

Justice Goddard appeared before the Home Affairs Select Committee in a pre-appointment hearing last month and it endorsed her appointment.

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