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What would a public inquiry into the government’s handling of Covid-19 look like?


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Harriet Jerram considers what a public inquiry into the Covid 19 response might look like and whether it would meet the need for a rapid and focussed response to mitigate any future public health disaster.

With the UK still in the grips of the Covid 19 pandemic, calls for a public inquiry into the government’s handling of the response to the crisis have been widespread. On 15 July 2020 the Prime Minister committed to holding an “independent inquiry” but would not be drawn on details as to when and in what form this would take place.

Harriet’s article considers what a public inquiry into the Covid 19 response might look like. It considers why and when public inquiries are appropriate and the function they serve, what issues a Covid 19 inquiry would likely consider, the form it could take, who could participate in it, how long it might last and at what expense. It also discusses how an inquiry might interface with the legion of litigation that will inevitably follow the pandemic. It concludes with a consideration of whether a “traditional” public inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005 can meet the need for a rapid and focussed response to mitigate any future public health disaster.

The Article

The article may be read here.

About the Author

Harriet is a leading junior in Inquests and Inquiries and has extensive experience of public inquiry work, including the Bristol Royal Infirmary Inquiry, the Shipman Inquiry and the Neale Inquiry. Between 2014 and 2016 she was Co-Counsel to the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry.

Find Out More

If you would like to discuss any of the issues covered in this article please contact Harriet directly or via her practice management team;  Paul Barton or Mark Gardner on +44 (0)20 7353 6381 who would be happy to have a discussion in the strictest of confidence.


Barristers: Harriet Jerram
Categories: Covid-19 | Legal Blog & Publications | Inquests & Inquiries during Covid-19 | Inquests & Inquiries