The decision announced today by the Goddard Inquiry to carry out a thorough investigation into the allegations against Lord Janner is good news. I had wondered why the inquiry had been so silent for so long following the statement by Alison Saunders, the head of the Crown Prosecution Service, that Janner would have been prosecuted save from him suffering advanced Alzheimer’s Disease. Frankly it would have outrageous if the inquiry did not conduct a thorough investigation.
The full statement plus a Q and A is on the inquiry’s website here .
It will remain to be seen how exactly this will be done and whether any of the evidence will be heard in public or whether the inquiry will publish a full report on it after the investigation. But the right things appear to have been put in place including ensuring that all the key documents are handed over to the inquiry.
Of course this decision comes at a time when the inquiry itself could face a judicial review for deciding not to appoint survivors and its plans to limit access and powers of people appointed to its advisory committee.
There is also the fact that as well as the review of the DPP’s controversial decision not to prosecute Lord Janner and any potential legal action to get the decision reversed that Goddard will not be able to proceed immediately.
But what is absolutely essential is that the scandal surrounding the failure to prosecute Lord Janner earlier by the police and the legal authorities is properly investigated and the survivors are given a chance to tell their stories. In the meantime we must be vigilant to ensure the right thing is done.