13 September 2018

Further details on the preliminary hearings

Today the Infected Blood Inquiry has published further details on the preliminary hearings.

The programme for the three days has now been published, along with a fact-sheet with details including times for registration, the nature of the commemoration, and psychological support for people following the preliminary hearings.

The commemoration, which has been designed by a group of volunteers from among the long-term campaigners working with a creative team, will take place on Monday 24 September at 11:30. It will use filmed interviews, photographs, poetry and music to convey the scale and gravity of what happened.

In the afternoon, there will be opening statements from Sir Brian Langstaff, Chair of the Inquiry and Jenni Richards QC, Counsel to the Inquiry. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the legal representatives of core participants, as well as those core participants without legal representation, will make their opening statements. These hearings are not about providing evidence but are for core participants to outline their priorities and preferred approach for the Inquiry. Procedural matters may also be raised.

As part of this, Jenni Richards QC will also outline the future work of the Inquiry. The scale of this Inquiry is huge. The Inquiry intends to start to hear oral evidence shortly after Easter 2019. Ahead of those hearings, the Inquiry will be gathering a large number of witness statements and analysing a vast amount of documentation.

Sir Brian Langstaff commented:

“The preliminary hearings are an important moment for the Inquiry. Many of the people infected and their families have campaigned for the Inquiry for many years. They helped to shape the Inquiry’s terms of reference. This is now their opportunity to tell me where they want the Inquiry to focus its investigative powers.

The sheer scale of the task the Inquiry is undertaking is demonstrated by the fact that over a thousand people and many organisations have already engaged with the Inquiry by contributing to the terms of reference, by providing documents, and by preparing to make witness statements. The Inquiry has already received over 100,000 documents and expects to acquire several times that number. There will also be many hundreds of witness statements. I am grateful for each and every contribution. There must however still be more who have knowledge, documents and their own accounts to add. I know that going over the past can be difficult but I encourage them to come forward.”


Preliminary Hearings Timetable-updated 21/09/18
PDF, 4 pages - 84kb

Preliminary hearings factsheet
PDF, 2 pages - 372kb