Will the National Inquiry into Child Abuse be toned down?
Following the reports of the departure of Ben Emmerson QC and two other lawyers, Abigail Bright and Elizabeth Prochaska, the words being used by the media to describe the two year old Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse range from "fiasco" to "chaos".
As I pointed out on the 6th September 2016 below, this is an inquiry that was intended to address the complaints of survivors of abuse, as to how and why they were let down by the establishment. The establishment cannot let these departures lead to a general dumbing down of the inquiry.
There has been some criticism of the inquiry from prominent lawyers. My own view is that these people are very much perceived by survivors as being a part of the establishment -in truth how could they be anything else?). The establishment cannot absolve itself from the abuse that was allowed to flourish in schools, children's homes, in the entertainment business - the list is endless.
It is a shame to see Ben Emmerson QC go, given his record of challenging governments. However this is an inquiry that must continue on the same terms.
I watched a fascinating film on the trial of Adolf Eichmann in the early 1960's. At that time, there was a sense that people no longer wanted to hear about the holocaust. The evidence given at Eichmann's trial laid bare "the banality of evil" and sadly the holocausts continue to this day.
In time the IICSA will begin to hear the evidence of survivors, at which point, people will hear about another kind of wickedness.
Malcolm Johnson, Specialist Child Abuse Lawyer