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Lord Woolf and Robert Francis QC among those honing recommendations for Government.

LONDON – 21st March 2013 – The Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) will today present draft recommendations to improve the Public Inquiry process at a symposium held at the Royal Society, London. The recommendations come after a plethora of high profile inquiries in recent years – including the Leveson Inquiry into media intrusion and the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq War.

Eleven recommendations from CEDR’s ‘Inquiry into Public Inquiries’ initiative will be reviewed by an expert panel including Robert Francis QC, Chair of the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Inquiry and former Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord Woolf.

CEDR will then present the final recommendations to Government and call for reform to the Public Inquiry system.

CEDR CEO and co-chair of the project, Dr Karl Mackie CBE, says: “Our research shows that 73 per cent of Britons do not have confidence in the Public Inquiry process, which is somewhat ironic. More than half of people think inquiries take too long, while more than two thirds would like to see the general public more involved in the inquiry process.
“However, the methodology of running a Public Inquiry has previously received little attention. There was an attempt to regulate Public Inquiries through the Inquiries Act 2005 and Inquiry Rules 2006 but these rules have arguably constrained Public Inquiries to a default judicial model, whilst failing to limit budgeting or ensure fundamentals, such as the schedule for setting up an Inquiry.
“In this spirit, we will present for discussion a series of key reforms resulting from our thorough investigation, which we believe will enhance the credibility, power and effectiveness of the Public Inquiry system.”

CEDR has 11 recommendations for reforming the Public Inquiry system. Read the report in full here:

Prior to the start of the Inquiry recommendations:
- Enhance the Capabilities of Chairs and Panels
- Align Inquiry Purposes with Intelligent Methodology
- Manage Potential Terms of Reference

Once the Public Inquiry has started recommendations:
- Separate Investigation from Recommendation
- Move beyond the Inquisitorial System
- Increase the Recognition and Use of Parallel Track Processes

Bring the Public into the Inquiry System
- Set Parameters – The ‘First Pass’ Inquiry Model
- Recommendation for after the Public Inquiry:
- Create Implementation Action Plan

Cross Process Recommendations:
- Build on Know-How through the Establishment of an Independent Inquiries Office
- Enhance Public Awareness of the Inquiry Process

Information on the outcome of the day will follow the event. The debate can be followed on Twitter from 10am using the hashtag #CEDRinquiry

About the ‘Inquiry into Public Inquiries’
In February 2011, the CEDR Foundation launched its “Inquiry into Public Inquiries” Project. The project’s aim has been to investigate and review the methodology that has been used in previous Public Inquiries in order to produce recommendations for change.
Substantial amounts of money, resources and time are poured into Public Inquiries. They provide a significant benefit in both being able to find out why a particular event happened and provide recourse to prevent the event from happening again.  However, CEDR believes there is more room for collaborative problem solving and a fresh look at design within the Inquiry process, to enhance its efficacy both as a process and in terms of outcomes delivered.

About CEDR
CEDR is a not-for-profit body, founded in 1990, that campaigns for better resolution of disputes and management of conflicts. CEDR’s foundation activity promotes awareness of the need for more effective dialogue and how to achieve it. CEDR’s commercial arm comprises:
CEDR Solve: Europe’s largest independent alternative dispute resolution service, which to date has helped over 40,000 parties in commercial disputes, and
CEDR Skills: The leading negotiation and conflict management trainer, internationally acclaimed for its Mediator Skills Training of over 6000 mediators. It also consults globally on Civil Justice reform and helps business develop conflict management systems.

Press Contact: Andy Rogers, Director of Communications,
+44 20 7536 6000.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) in the following categories: Public Sector, Third Sector & Legal, for more information visit