Covid-19 inquiry chair announced

On 15 December 2021 the Prime Minister announced the Rt Hon Baroness Heather Hallett DBE as chair of the forthcoming public inquiry into the Covid-19 pandemic. The inquiry is set to begin in spring 2022, with additional panel members appointed in the New Year.

Baroness Hallett has extensive experience in dealing with high profile, sensitive and complex inquiries, investigations and inquests. As a judge, she brings a range of skills to the inquiry from impartiality, experience in the procedural rules that govern inquiries and the ability to manage large volumes of evidence.

In its press release, the Government confirms that the Prime Minister will now consult with Baroness Hallett and ministers from the devolved administrations on the Terms of Reference for the inquiry and will publish a draft in the New Year.

While we await the scope of the UK Covid inquiry, the Terms of Reference for the Scottish public inquiry into the handling of the Covid pandemic have been published. The Scottish inquiry will be chaired by Lady Poole QC.

The Scottish Terms of Reference provide some insight into the range of issues that we an expect the UK inquiry to cover. These include 12 areas of investigation, with each covering a strategic element of the handling of the pandemic, from delivering a system of testing, outbreak management and self-isolation, the supply distribution and use of PPE to the handling of the pandemic in care and nursing homes.

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