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Judicial Inquiries in the UK are Ineffective

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Assess the View That Judicial Inquires Consistently Let the Government off the Hook A judicial inquiry is usually launched to (publicly) investigate a particular disaster, scandal or event. A senior judge is appointed the role of chairing and presiding over these inquires by the Prime Minister. They aim to discover what caused the incident in question, the government's accountability, and to make recommendations on future actions. The judge is provided with Terms of Reference, which they are required to abide by whilst carrying out the investigation, and then they ultimately present a report on their findings. The first main controversy in relation to judicial inquires and how they indefinitely let the government off the hook , is that though these inquires are created to investigate the governments accountability, the government itself controls them. The government has the power to decide when an inquiry will be launched, what the inquiry will be investigating, and what judge will head it. ...read more.


Another reason in support that Inquiries let the government off the hook, is that the government determines the Terms of Reference that the judge must adhere to. This means that the judge has no liberty to carry- out a full and accurate investigation. The conclusion may be biased and wrong and may easily let the government off the hook, not exposing their true accountability for the incident. For example, the Widgery inquiry into Bloody Sunday was instructed in the Terms of Reference to take evidence solely from the British Soldiers. Therefore the result that the soldiers were not responsible was somewhat absurd and even laughable. The inquiry was tainted and this eventually led to a new inquiry, the Saville inquiry being set up. In addition to this, the fact that these investigations cost so much money and time is also a detrimental factor to their effectiveness. It may effect the government's decision to launch the inquiry in the first place. ...read more.


In contrast, public bodies have been investigated and discrimination within them has been exposed. For example, the MacPherson inquiry commented that the police were institutionally racist, along with other government bodies. Also, the inquiries have served their purpose in the way that they have helped and technically can bring justice to those who have suffered due to the government. For example, the Taylor inquiry in 1989 helped recognise the problems that led to the disaster and why ninety-six people had died and some of his recommendations were implemented after to help protect others and prevent it from happening again in the future. In conclusion, there is evidence to verify both sides of the argument, however, history has proven that the cases that have let the government off the hook clearly out weigh the cases that hold them accountable. This is also supported by the new reforms that are being made to the judiciary. The government has acknowledged that there are flaws in the system and are taking steps to help rectify the problems and make the judicial inquires much more credible in the future. ...read more.

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