The Investigation Committee will fully investigate complaints and allegations made to it. It has the power to compel persons accused to attend before it, and to compel them to produce any documents it needs to see. The Investigation Committee will hold its hearings in Dublin, and the persons or institutions accused have the right to get advance notice of what a Complainant has to say, and to question the Complainant if they wish to do so. Legal representation is allowed for both sides.
If a Complainant chooses the Investigation Committee, he or she will be contacted by one of the Inquiry Officers. The Inquiry Officers are barristers but they will not be representing the Complainant. Their job is to conduct the preliminary inquiry into each case and to prepare all the documents for the hearing.
The Inquiry Officer will contact the Complainant directly, or, if he or she has a solicitor, the Inquiry Officers will work with the solicitor who will prepare the statement.
If a Complainant does not have a solicitor, the following will happen:
At any time a Complainant chooses, he or she has the option of obtaining a solicitor to represent them. The solicitor will be paid for by the legal expenses scheme carried out by the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse Act, 2000