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The Commission to Inquire into Child AbuseA woman

The Investigation Committee

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:

  1. The Inquiry Officer will ask the Complainant to make a statement.
  2. This statement can be made in writing or can be prepared with the help of the Inquiry Officer.
  3. The statement should set out the complaints or allegations of abuse that the Complainant wishes to make.
  4. Because the statement is a legal document, it must follow the guidelines set out in Form 3 in the instructions furnished by the Inquiry Officers.  At the hearing, the Complainant will be able to tell his or her story in full in his or her own words.
  5. When a Complainant has given his or her statement to the Inquiry Officer, he or she will carry out the preliminary investigation of the case.
  6. The person(s) or institution(s) accused will receive a copy of the statement and any documents to back up the evidence so that they can make a response to a Complainant's allegations at the hearing.
  7. The Inquiry Officers will also obtain statements from the Respondents (the people against who allegations have been made).
  8. A hearing date will then be set. Before the hearing the Complainant will receive a copy of all the documents prepared for the case. At the hearing, each side has the right to ask questions of the other side.

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

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