Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Child Abuse Judge Lambasts Enquiry

DAME Lowell Goddard, who became the third judge to walk out when she resigned last month, described the inquiry’s size and scale as an 'inherent problem' that needs 'remodelling'
She also claimed it is under-funded and suffers from a lack of experienced staff. 
The New Zealand judge urged home secretary Amber Rudd to review the inquiry’s remit, which was set up to probe child abuse allegations in institutions, such as Westminster, the church, councils and schools, over the past 60 years. 
In a memo to the home affairs select committee, which was seen by The Times, she wrote:
'With the benefit of hindsight, or more realistically the benefit of experience, it is clear there is an inherent problem in the sheer scale and size of the inquiry (which its budget does not match) and therefore in its manageability.' 
The new head is Professor Alexis Jay, a social work specialist. 
She added:  'My departure provides a timely opportunity to undertake a complete review of the inquiry in its present form, with a view to remodelling it and recalibrating its emphasis more towards current events and thus focussing major attention on the present and future protection of children.'
Dame Lowell, 67, stepped down on August 5 after it was reported that she had spent three months of her first year in the job either on holiday or overseas, primarily in New Zealand, her home country. 
She had been appointed with an salary and benefits package totalling £500,000 after Mrs May’s two previous choices for the post also resigned. 
The new head is Professor Alexis Jay, a social work specialist who is backed by a panel, victims of sex abuse and other expert advisers. 
The inquiry, set up in March last year, has already amassed millions of pages of documents but has yet to take evidence from witnesses.

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