Olinga Tahzib appears in virtual public hearing to examine child protection in religious organisations and settings
Olinga Tahzib appears this week in the second stage of the substantive hearing in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse’s investigation into Religious Organisations and Settings.
The hearing – which is being conducted entirely remotely – examines child protection policies and practices in religious organisations in England and Wales. These include Jehovah’s Witnesses, Baptists, Methodists, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, Hinduism, Buddhist and non-conformist Christian denominations.
Yesterday, Olinga examined PR-A5, a former member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who was abused as a child by Peter Stewart, a ministerial servant within the congregation. PR-A5 was the claimant in the landmark case of A v The Trustees of the Watchtower Bible Tract Society and Others  EWHC 1722 (QB), in which she was represented by James Counsell QC and Ben Bradley. This was the first successful claim in the UK against the Jehovah’s Witness organisation for historic sexual abuse committed by one of its ministerial servants. It was also the first successful claim for the vicarious liability of its elders in failing to safeguard a young, vulnerable member of the congregation. Read more about this case here.
A transcript of PR-A5’s evidence to the inquiry can be found here. Yesterday the Inquiry also heard from Sarah Davies and Duncan Corbett, members of the group Ex-JW Advocates Opposing Crimes Against Children as well as Lloyd Evans, the founder and senior editor of the website jwsurvey.org and the author of two books on the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Yesterday and today, the Inquiry is hearing from Paul Gillies, a senior member of the congregation, as he explains the Jehovah’s Witnesses child protection policies and practices.
The proceedings of the investigation are being live streamed on the Inquiry’s website.
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Olinga has been instructed as one of a team of counsel to the Inquiry since September 2017. Alongside other members of Chambers, he has assisted with investigations into the Anglican Church and the Nottinghamshire Councils.
Olinga Tahzib is a civil practitioner specialising public inquiries and in personal injury, clinical negligence and employment disputes. If you would like further information about Olinga’s practice or if you wish to instruct him, please contact a member of his practice management team, Graham Woods or Chris Rowe on +44 (0)20 7353 6381
Barristers: Olinga Tahzib
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