New judge appointed for child abuse inquiry – third time lucky?

Serious task: New Zealand High Court Judge Lowell Goddard has been appointed as the third chair of the inquiry into historical child sex abuse.

Serious task: New Zealand High Court Judge Lowell Goddard has been appointed as the third chair of the inquiry into historical child sex abuse.

Did anybody notice this in the mainstream media? It was reported, but not very strongly.

New Zealand High Court judge Lowell Goddard has been appointed as the third chair of Theresa May’s much-aborted inquiry into historical child sex abuse in the United Kingdom.

She has told the Commons Home Affairs select committee she wants to have the troubled inquiry “up and running” by early April and would aim to revisit past wrongs, clarify what happened and ensure children were protected from sexual abuse.

She also said she intended for the inquiry, which she has been told could take three to four years, to have a “truth and reconciliation” element to it, which would allow survivors to speak about their experiences in private if necessary – as well as an investigative function.

And she said she has no links to the establishment, telling MPs: “We don’t have such a thing in my country.” This last claim may be suspect!

Concerns have been raised about her record. According to one site, while heading the NZ Independent Police Conduct Authority, Justice Goddard concealed a number of serious complaints against police and, while Deputy Solicitor General, refused to release evidence that former judge Michael Lance was guilty of perverting justice in a police prosecution of his son Simon’s business partner, claiming it was not in the public interest to allow the prosecution.

But she dismissed allegations made by New Zealand bloggers by pointing out that her prime accuser has been officially certified a “vexatious litigant” and stressing that her record on child abuse included passing the longest sentence in New Zealand judicial history on a man who abused and murdered two girls.

So that’s all right then. Is it?

One of her first moves has been to end Theresa May’s experiment to put child abuse survivors on the panel. She said: “There are inherent risks in having people with personal experience of abuse as members of an impartial and independent panel.”

Blogger David Hencke, who has far more experience in these subjects than Yr Obdt Srvt, commented: “Frankly the row and bitter campaign by some organisations, l am afraid like the Survivors Alliance, against people appointed to the panel has ended in excluding survivors voices in the writing of the report. They have shot themselves in the foot.

“There will obviously be some appointed to an advisory panel, but no one should kid themselves that they will have the same influence as a member of the panel. It will be up to the judge to decide how often and how much they will be consulted but up to her and her QC adviser, Ben Emmerson, to decide what  will appear in the report.

“A radical experiment in setting up an inquiry to deal with one of the nastiest and most persistent blots in British public life – the exploitation of children by paedophiles – has been killed  with the help of the very people who suffered that fate.” [bolding mine]

Survivors will still be able to speak to the inquiry and also to the new People’s Tribunal now in the process of being set up, which has survivors on its steering committee.

Is this a good start – or another false one?

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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  1. Jeffery Davies February 12, 2015 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    Id be very worried another robert plant sorry robert but your nams is usefull but reading the rights on her aint good

  2. Owen Williams February 12, 2015 at 6:10 pm - Reply

    The Establishment is doing, and will continue to do absolutely everything in their considerable power to make a prolonged and righteous mess of this so-called enquiry. Theresa May has no intention of seeing it to fruition, no-matter what she says or promises, or how many new Establishment-connected figures she appoints to chair it. Her only concern is to make as much of a farce of it as she can, so as to delay its progress until such a time as the sheer lack of progress can be used as an excuse to shut it down altogether. And meanwhile, as all this Musical Chairs is going on, the witnesses are being silenced and the evidence is being buried by people with a vested interest in none of this ever seeing the light of day, much less getting a proper airing.

    The Tories CANNOT afford their chums and backers being called out for child abuse, and will co-operate to whatever extent they have to, to make sure those accusations are never given ANY form of serious consideration or meaningful redress. They will drag this out as far as they have to, to make sure that this never, ever gets resolved. In the meantime, The Establishment is laughing it all off and continuing with business as usual.

  3. Jean Casale February 12, 2015 at 7:27 pm - Reply

    Hansard 4th Feb 2015
    Theresa May (The Secretary of State for the Home Department; Maidenhead, Conservative)
    I thank my hon. Friend for his support for the appointment of a New Zealand judge. It became apparent during the due diligence process that there is a blog with an accusation against Justice Lowell Goddard relating to a potential cover-up. I have spoken to her and to New Zealand’s Attorney-General about it, and I have been assured that there is absolutely no truth to the allegation. That information was shared with a number of survivors and they were comfortable with the explanation that was given. I am clear not only that Justice Goddard has the necessary experience in this area, but, crucially, that her track record shows—for example, in the work that she did to look at police conduct in these matters—that she is willing to go where the evidence takes her, without fear or favour.

  4. philipburdekin February 12, 2015 at 7:43 pm - Reply

    The b*****d perverts will still get away with, it UNTIL the day they die.

    • Mike Sivier February 14, 2015 at 4:44 pm - Reply

      Let’s all try to make sure that doesn’t come true.

  5. Nigel Craddock February 12, 2015 at 7:50 pm - Reply

    The recent selection by Theresa May, and that person’s comment and alleged intention, is hardly the fault of those opposing the previous candidates – based upon what I’ve read here. I understand what’s being said but it doesn’t sound right at all. Apart from the waste of money I’d like to see an inquiry into why May is allowed to keep proffering totally unsuitable candidates. Why not Charles Manson or …

  6. concernedkev February 13, 2015 at 9:45 am - Reply

    Let us be realistic about this whole affair. The establishment figures who have been involved and by that I mean MI5,MI6 and Special Branch officers will not allow the truth to emerge. The excellent work that Exaro News and David Hencke have done in recent years could still be buried by this NZ Judge. My guess is that they will use the official secrets act and threat to national security as an excuse. I hope for the sake of the survivors they get the truth out. The speed and secrecy of burying Leon Brittan in an unmarked grave is symbolic of how the establishment operate. He dies suddenly !! of a so called long term illness. No inquest ??? The mainstream media play it all down when, now that we know through survivors testimony, that he was [according to that testimony] the Senior Minister in Thatcher’s government who was involved in the abuse and possible murder of a young boy. He was also featured in a video at abuse parties which was allegedly seized by customs. Why has thisnot been exposed to the depth of the likes of Saville exposes? Why no mention of his connections to Saville in Scarborough when he was MP for Whitby and the paedophile ring [allegedly] being run and operated by senior Tory Peter Jaconelli? The truth about this can be told now he is dead as long as journalists do not jeopardise other cases of those alleged perpetrators who are still alive.
    Another interesting development was the recent attempt from some journalists to close down Exaro’s contacts with MPs in Westminster thankfully there are decent MPs when it comes to this issue and they refused. It begs the question how deep are the SPOOKS involved in all of this. They have the most to lose if the truth does emerge.

  7. concernedkev February 13, 2015 at 9:57 am - Reply
    Just come across this article about Brittan on Exaro he was about to be questioned again by police. Did he top himself??

    • Mike Sivier February 13, 2015 at 4:48 pm - Reply

      It makes you wonder, doesn’t it? I asked questions when he died but we all have to wait and see what we’ll be told.

  8. concernedkev February 14, 2015 at 1:11 pm - Reply

    I am afraid we will be waiting until kingdom come for the truth about this weasel. If he was so innocent, as the family claim, why the unmarked grave?

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