CSA Inquiry: Terms of Reference


To consider the extent to which State and non-State institutions have failed in their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation; to consider the extent to which those failings have since been addressed; to identify further action needed to address any failings identified; and to publish a report with recommendations.

In doing so to:

  • consider all the information which is available from the various published and unpublished reviews, court cases, investigations etc. (hereinafter “the reports”) which have so far concluded;
  • consider whether such institutions failed to identify such abuse and/or whether there was otherwise an inappropriate institutional response to allegations of child abuse and/or whether there were ineffective child protection procedures in place;
  • advise on any further action needed to address any institutional gaps or failings within our current child protection systems on the basis of the findings and lessons learnt from these reports;
    disclose, where appropriate and in line with security and data protection protocols, any documents which were considered as part of the inquiry; and
  • publish a report with recommendations.


  • State and non-State institutions. Such institutions will, for example, include:
    • Government departments, Parliament and Ministers;
    • Police, prosecuting authorities, schools including private and state-funded boarding and day schools, Local Authorities including care homes and children’s services, health services, prisons/secure estates;
    • Churches and other religious denominations and organisations;
    • Political Parties;
    • The Armed Services.
  • The Inquiry Panel will cover England and Wales. Should the Inquiry Panel identify any material relating to the devolved administrations, it will be passed to the relevant authorities;
  • The Inquiry Panel will consider these matters from 1970 to the present. However, the Inquiry Panel may be presented with evidence that will lead it to conclude that this timeframe should be extended further;
  • The Inquiry will not address allegations relating to events in the Overseas Territories or Crown Dependencies. However, any such allegations received by the Panel will be referred to the relevant law enforcement bodies in those jurisdictions;
  • For the purposes of this Inquiry “child” means anyone under the age of 18. However, the panel will consider abuse of individuals over the age of 18, if that abuse started when the individual was a minor.


  • The Inquiry Panel will have full access to all the material it seeks, unless there is a statutory impediment to it doing so;
  • Any allegation of child abuse received by the Inquiry Panel will be referred to the Police;
  • All personal and sensitive information will be appropriately protected; and will be made available only to those who need to see it;
  • It is not part of the Inquiry’s function to determine civil or criminal liability of named individuals or organisations. This should not, however, inhibit the Inquiry from reaching findings of fact relevant to its terms of reference.




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7 responses to “CSA Inquiry: Terms of Reference

  1. Bruce Goldfinch

    So much for the victims of Jersey and Kincora. Really is not adequate.

    • dpack

      to only include england and wales does seem like an attempt to avoid some serious issues but the issues in england and wales are a good start and will expose links to and evidence about events elsewhere .

      avoiding ni ,scotland,dependent territory, tax havens owned by the duke of normandy etc etc (and even foreign soil and nationals) could be seen as keeping the brief manageable or as avoiding many issues but england and wales is a good place to start and prove good intent .

      institutions based in england have control over many of the other places mentioned and any evidence found can used locally or be passed on for action elsewhere.

      a brief intended to avoid joined up thinking can easily be subverted by adding both overview and contextual information.

      if the intent is to conceal truth it will soon be obvious and other means can be applied .

  2. dpack

    at first view it seems a reasonable place to start ,

    i recon there is good reason to expand further back in time but expansion is built in to the terms

    im rather surprised how few restrictions and exclusions there are .

    government departments could be taken to include “security” even if that is not explicitly listed,the queen is head of state so i spose that the buck stops in buck house,non gov institutions include the masons for instance .

    i rather like this brief ,what matters is how it is applied.

  3. GMB

    So I presume it will include an ILEA (Mal) School?

  4. paul m

    what a surprise! kincora won’t be investigated.

  5. dpack

    if any government department/military unit etc knew about kincora it could be assumed to be within the brief based on the investigation of the department .

    attempts to avoid joined up thinking can be thwarted by the knowledge of concerned citizens .