Professor Jay was brave but wrong to agree to chair the child abuse inquiry

I hate to be Cassandra yet again, but Amber Rudd has made the wrong decision in appointing Alexis Jay as the new Chairman (and like it or not, “Chairman” is the word used in the Inquiries Act 2005 under which she has been appointed) of the “independent inquiry into child sexual abuse” (“IICSA”); and Professor Jay was wrong to accept the appointment.

This is not, as some have suggested, because a social worker like Professor Jay is in some way compromised when the Inquiry examines the conduct of other social workers. She has in fact been an inspector of social work since 2005, criticism of other social workers has been her business for some time and she is well qualified to comment on social work failings should she come across any.

Nor is it because of any personal failings. Many of those who have worked with Prof Jay speak highly of her, and her report into sexual exploitation in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013 has been widely praised. Continue reading “Professor Jay was brave but wrong to agree to chair the child abuse inquiry”

The Henriques Report Contains No Evidence Of An “Establishment Conspiracy.”

 

Two days before the publication of the Henriques Report into the CPS and Leicestershire Police inquiries into allegations against Greville Janner, I took part in a BBC Big Questions debate on whether – in the light of the Janner case – a corpse should be put on trial. As it turned out everyone on the panel seemed to accept, some a bit more reluctantly than others, that perhaps that was going a bit far, so that particular debate never really got off the ground.

What was more striking was that, almost nobody in the room expressed the slightest doubt over the proposition that Lord Janner had been “protected by the establishment.” Anyone making that point, or hinting at it, was guaranteed a thunderous round of applause. Continue reading “The Henriques Report Contains No Evidence Of An “Establishment Conspiracy.””

Lord Janner: Was the DPP right? What can the complainants do next?

The Crown Prosecution Service has announced that Greville Janner will not be prosecuted for sexual offences against boys in Leicester during the 1970s and 1980s.

Greville Janner: Alzheimer's disease is incurable
Greville Janner: Alzheimer’s disease is incurable

The CPS says the case passes its “evidential test.” They believe they have evidence which makes a conviction more likely than not. The reason for not proceeding is that, in the view of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, a prosecution “would not be in the public interest.”

The announcement has been greeted with outrage. According to one, unnamed, complainant quoted on the Leicestershire Police website:

This animal is still being protected because [of his status] and isn’t able to stand trial. They say that it’s not in the public interest, but isn’t it in the public interest to know what his victims have gone through at the hands of this man?”

It seems quite unprecedented for an investigating police force to quote someone describing an unconvicted individual in such terms.

There are two questions:

Why did Ms Saunders find that a prosecution was not in the public interest?

What can those aggrieved by the decision do about it? Continue reading “Lord Janner: Was the DPP right? What can the complainants do next?”