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How is the law and practice of inquries working?

14 February 2024

The Statutory Inquiries Committee today publishes its call for evidence. The Committee is inviting the public to give their views on the law and practice of how inquiries under the Inquiries Act 2005 work.

The deadline for responses is 5.00pm on Friday 19 April 2024


The Inquiries Act 2005 forms the statutory framework for many public inquiries. The Statutory Inquiries Committee is considering the law and practice of the way those inquiries work.  

Inquiries are generally set up to consider incidents of major public concern. Their job is:  

  • to find out what happened,  
  • to learn lessons so that mistakes are not repeated,  
  • to restore public confidence, and   
  • to determine accountability.  

There are currently 14 inquiries being undertaken under the Inquiries Act 2005.  

Concern is often expressed about the length of time inquiries take, and the amount they cost.  

 Other criticisms are that there is no formal system for following up their recommendations for improvement, and that there is no central team responsible for setting up and running inquiries.   

Call for evidence

The Committee wants to know:   

  • How the Inquiries Act 2005 might be improved.
  • Whether statutory inquiries are as effective as they can be.  
  • What challenges and risks they face, and how they might be improved.  
  • Whether the system set up under the Inquiries Act 2005 is the best for running inquiries, and when other methods work better.  

A full list of questions can be found in the call for evidence.


 The deadline for written contributions is Friday, 19 April 2024

Further information