The Leveson Inquiry has published a “Note Submitted by Counsel to the Inquiry” dealing with maters to be covered at the preliminary hearing on 4 October 2011. This sets out an agenda for the hearing and identifies issues covering the future conduct of the inquiry. Core participants were invited to add to the agenda and make submissions.
The note deals with seven matters as follows:
- Inquiry Protocols – relating to the handling of documents, the assessors and legal representation at public expense. These are not presently available.
- Briefings and seminars – the position in relation to this is not clear from the note, an update is awaited.
- Receipt of oral evidence – it made clear that Part 1 will not deal with “who did what when”. The inquiry is intended to be “paperless”. All evidence will be published unless an order is made to the contrary. Names of witnesses will be notified to core participants in advdance of hearings. Witnesses will give evidence under oath and it will be decied on a cse by case basis by Counsel for the inquiry which witnesses will be cross-examined. Core participants will have to send “lines of questioning” to Counsel for the Inquiry for consideration. Questioning by other counsel will be by application only and strictly controlled.
- Standard of proof – the view is presently taken that no formal ruling is required for Part 1. However, the proceedings are inquisitorial, to the civil standard.
- Broadcasting – the provisional view of the Chairman is that oral evidence should be televised (but not seminars).
- Applications for public funding – should be made as soon as possible.
- Timetable – a date for Module 1 oral evidence sesssions has not yet been set.