Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Probe peer raps cost of Bloody Sunday Inquiry

Families of the victims of the Bloody Sunday shootings march from the Bogside to the Guildhall holding photographs of their relatives, to gain a preview of the Saville Report on June 15, 2010

A former Lord Chief Justice has raised concerns about the Bloody Sunday Inquiry costs.

Lord Woolf claimed funding for the investigation into Bloody Sunday, which reached almost £200m, was treated like a tap without a water meter.

The former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales also said there may be a “misfit” between expectations of the Leveson Inquiry and what it has been tasked to produce.

He is leading an ‘inquiry into inquiries’ with the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) he hopes will results in a more streamlined process. The Saville Inquiry, which found that 14 civilians in Londonderry killed by British soldiers in 1972 died as a result of “unjustifiable firing”, was the longest running in UK legal history.

The peer said he believed Lord Saville felt it was vital everyone had their say.

“He was meticulous in that and very praiseworthy, but proportionality is very important and I just do not myself accept that any inquiry that took as long and involved the expense of the Saville Inquiry has not got things wrong,” he said.

“I'm sorry to seem critical of an individual I admire, but that was what happened. How do you absorb all the information you have heard and record it even if you read and re-read it?

“It took a huge amount of time to do the report, everybody got a mention in the report who did anything, but the report is one which I doubt there is anybody in this country who has mastered the whole of the contents. It is beyond the capacity of a mortal individual.”

He added: “They regarded themselves as having the ability to disregard expense.”

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