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IICSA Inquiry-Child Protection in Religious Organisations and Settings 23 July 2019

1 Tuesday, 23 July 2019 1 which has been done to date on this investigation and
2 (2.00 pm) 2 the work which will be done over the course of the
3 Welcome and opening remarks by THE CHAIR 3 coming months; to hear renewed applications for core
4 THE CHAIR: Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Alexis Jay 4 participant status on behalf of a number of individuals
5 and I am the chair of the Independent Inquiry into Child 5 and one organisation; and, thirdly, to consider any
6 Sexual Abuse. Sitting with me are the other panel 6 other issues which core participants wish to raise.
7 members of the Inquiry: Professor Sir Malcolm Evans, 7 Before we hear from leading counsel to this
8 Ivor Frank and Drusilla Sharpling. 8 investigation, Fiona Scolding QC, who will introduce
9 On behalf of the inquiry, I welcome you all to this, 9 those present, a word about timing. We hope to finish
10 the first preliminary hearing in the Investigation into 10 today by 4.15 and we will take a short break at around
11 Child Protection in Religious Organisations and 11 3.15 for 15 minutes.
12 Settings. This is the latest investigation initiated as 12 Please go ahead, Ms Scolding.
13 part of the inquiry's work. 13 Opening remarks by MS SCOLDING
14 As you by now know, the investigation is going to be 14 MS SCOLDING: Good afternoon, chair and panel. I am
15 a thematic one which will review the current child 15 Ms Fiona Scolding, leading counsel to this investigation
16 protection policies, practices and procedures in 16 on my left sits Mr Olinga Tahzib, junior counsel to this
17 religious institutions in England and Wales. It is 17 investigation. My learned friend Ms Nikita McNeill is
18 separate from our investigations into the Anglican and 18 also counsel to this investigation, but she is not
19 Roman Catholic Churches. It will examine other 19 present today.
20 religious organisations and settings, including, but not 20 As you have already identified, chair, this is the
21 limited to, non-conformist Christian denominations, 21 first preliminary hearing into the investigation
22 other Christian denominations, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, 22 concerning child protection in religious organisations
23 Hinduism and Buddhism. 23 and settings in England and Wales.
24 The purpose of today's preliminary hearing is 24 The purpose of today's hearing is to provide
25 threefold: to update core participants about the work 25 information about the work that the investigation has

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1 been carrying out and to discuss the process and 1 then briefly from the Jehovah's Witnesses in reply.
2 framework for the hearings which are scheduled to begin 2 Finally, there will be the opportunity for anything
3 on 16 March 2020. Each core participant has been sent 3 else from core participants.
4 an agenda for today. 4 Chair, I will now introduce you to the individuals
5 I will seek to explain what we have been doing, 5 who sit in the room, together with their various
6 where we are now and what we will be doing to include, 6 representatives.
7 first, the scope of the investigation and the broad 7 Firstly to my right, Richard Scorer, solicitor of
8 themes and issues that we wish to explore. 8 Slater & Gordon. He represents the following
9 Second, the material and witness requests this 9 organisations: firstly, Southall Black Sisters an
10 investigation has asked for and will ask for. 10 organisation representing women and girls subjected to
11 Thirdly, when it receives this information and 11 violence, including sexual violence, within the African,
12 material, how it will review, redact and circulate it -- 12 Afro-Caribbean and South Asian communities. He also
13 known as "disclosure" to those of us who are lawyers -- 13 represents Ms Lisa Oakley, who is chair of the National
14 to those who are core participants in advance of the 14 Working Group on child abuse linked to faith and belief.
15 hearing. 15 Ms Yasmin Rehman, the Chief Executive of JUNO Women's
16 Next, I will discuss directions about the 16 Aid, formerly the Women's Aid Integrated Services, an
17 broadcasting of the hearing. 17 organisation representing women and girls subject to
18 Then I will discuss the issue of funding available 18 sexual violence.
19 under the Inquiries Act. 19 Then Ms Sadia Hameed, the director of
20 Last, I will map out the future timetable. 20 Gloucestershire Sisters, an organisation for black and
21 After I have finished speaking, we will deal with 21 ethnic minority women and girls dealing with issues
22 the renewal applications for core participant status, 22 around violence, including sexual abuse.
23 chair and panel, and then we will hear briefly from 23 Last, the Interfaith Alliance, a group of Muslim,
24 Mr Barker of Hugh James, who represents a group called 24 Jewish and Hindu faith leaders working on issues of
25 the Ex-JW Advocates Opposing Crimes Against Children and 25 sexual abuse within faith communities.

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IICSA Inquiry-Child Protection in Religious Organisations and Settings 23 July 2019

1 Mr Scorer may be representing, but it is still not 1 the Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses
2 clear, an organisation called Migdal Emunah, which is 2 represented today by Mr Shane Brady of counsel.
3 a advocacy group for victims and survivors of sexual 3 One also has the Evangelical Alliance, who are
4 abuse within the Jewish community. 4 seated on the second bench. Present today are
5 Next, sat on the other benches, is Mr Samuel Barker, 5 Ms Jo Frost, Director of Communications, and
6 solicitor of Hugh James, who acts on behalf of the 6 Mr Simon McCrossan, the head of public policy.
7 organisation I've already mentioned called the Ex-JW 7 Then seated, again, next to the Jehovah's Witnesses,
8 Advocates Opposing Crimes Against Children. I think 8 are the United Synagogue represented today by
9 their name probably speaks for themselves. 9 Mr David Frei, the Director of Legal Services.
10 Behind me is the Charity Commission, represented 10 Turning back again, to the second bench along, in
11 today by Mr Felix Rechtman, head of litigation. 11 the corner, just in front of Mr Stygal, are
12 Next to him are Ofsted, represented today by 12 representatives from Liberal Judaism. Present today are
13 Ms Hannett of counsel. Then next to her is the Home 13 Ms Rebecca Fetterman, Director of Youth and Students,
14 Office represented by Ms Sian Reeves of counsel. 14 and Ms Shelley Shocolinsky-Dwyer, the Operations
15 Turning to the benches at the back, one has the 15 Director.
16 Pagan Federation. Present today is Mr Mike Stygal, 16 Turning to the benches directly behind Mr Scorer,
17 vice-president, he is in the corner at the rear, chair 17 one then has the Union of Hebrew Congregations. Present
18 and panel. Then, further along on that bench, is the 18 today is Mr Joel Friedman and also Rabbi Baumgarten.
19 United Reformed Church. Present today are 19 Last, but by no means least, Thirtyone:eight,
20 Mr Richard Church, the deputy general secretary, and 20 a training and advisory organisation. Present today are
21 Sharron Barr, the Wessex Synod Safeguarding Officer. 21 Mr Justin Humphreys, the Chief Executive, and
22 In the front row are the Baptist Union of Great 22 Mr Andrew Pierce, the chair of trustees, and they are
23 Britain, represented today by Ms Ijeoma Omambala of 23 sitting on the rear benches.
24 counsel. 24 I also introduce those who are renewing their
25 Then seated in one of the benches in the corner is 25 application for core participant status today.

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1 Firstly, Mr Scorer will be renewing an application 1 valuable and essential services to children and young
2 on behalf of Mr James Lloyd Evans who provides advocacy 2 people, by which I mean people under the age of 18. It
3 and representation services for those who used to be 3 wishes, therefore, to enquire into how other religious
4 members of the Jehovah's Witnesses. 4 organisations and faith groups keep children safe from
5 Next to Mr Scorer is Mr Manny Waks, the director of 5 the risk of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation.
6 an organisation called Kol v'Oz, which provides advocacy 6 We live in a multi-faith society with many religious
7 and representation to Jewish victims and survivors of 7 traditions and beliefs. Those brought up in particular
8 abuse on a worldwide basis. 8 traditions wish to pass on their faith to their children
9 Turning to my left, one has Mr Thomas Beale, 9 and engage them in the communal religious ceremonies
10 solicitor of Bolt Burdon Kemp, who is representing 10 which take place in nearly every religious organisation.
11 individuals whom we are calling today PR-A5, PR-A6 and 11 They also wish to educate them about their beliefs and
12 PR-A9. 12 religious ceremonies and rituals by way, for example, of
13 Turning first to the scope of the investigation, as 13 afterschool tuition, groups or other forms of study.
14 those sitting in this room know, the inquiry has spent 14 They may also want to provide places where children can
15 a significant time examining the child protection 15 engage in leisure, social or other recreational
16 practices, policies and processes which exist within the 16 activities. These services are often run by volunteers
17 Church of England, the Church in Wales and the Roman 17 within the religious community or faith tradition.
18 Catholic Church within England and Wales. There have 18 All of this valuable work within our society means
19 been case studies into the actions of particular 19 that children often spend time, whilst not at school as
20 institutions associated with those religions, as well as 20 part of these organisations, receiving education,
21 general hearings into the state of child protection 21 assistance or other forms of religious and spiritual
22 within those organisations as a whole. 22 guidance.
23 This inquiry recognises, however, that this provides 23 Such guidance is often woven into the fabric of
24 only a partial picture, as it excludes many other 24 a child's upbringing and is a central part of their
25 religious organisations and faith groups which provide 25 identity.

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IICSA Inquiry-Child Protection in Religious Organisations and Settings 23 July 2019

1 We recognise that religious organisations have the 1 The themes and issues raised by these meetings have
2 promotion of good, of morality, of civic responsibility 2 informed this investigation and, as I explain below,
3 and of selflessness as central features of their 3 will be covered in it. We would like to thank each and
4 doctrines and creeds. 4 every one of you who came to meet us to discuss these
5 We recognise that the vast majority of individuals 5 issues. Your thoughts, ideas and views have been
6 in those organisations adhere to and promote those 6 extremely useful and will continue to be so.
7 values and beliefs. 7 The cooperation, courtesy and frankness you have
8 But we also know that some individuals do use 8 shown to date we hope will be replicated during the
9 religious organisations and settings to perpetrate child 9 course of the rest of this investigation.
10 sexual abuse. Our definition of child sexual abuse is 10 We have sought to identify by announcing this
11 that which involves forcing or enticing a child or young 11 investigation, that we wish to examine a wide range of
12 person to take part in sexual activities. These 12 institutions and organisations which have a more than
13 activities may involve physical contact or looking at or 13 minimal presence within England and Wales. As the chair
14 being part of the production of sexual images, watching 14 has already identified, this includes all forms of the
15 sexual activities or encouraging children to act in ways 15 Christian tradition, Islam and Judaism, Sikhs, Hindus,
16 which are sexually inappropriate for their age and 16 Jain, Buddhist, Pagan, non-Trinitarian religious
17 development, or grooming a child in preparation for such 17 organisations and other new religious movements.
18 activities, whether in person or by way of any internet 18 We have sought to identify what we consider to be
19 or social media channels. 19 a religious setting or organisation which is wide in
20 Prior to launching this investigation, we undertook 20 scope and nature and can take a multitude of forms. We
21 a scoping exercise, meeting with many religious 21 do not wish to be prescriptive as we recognise that
22 organisations and groups to ask them about child 22 there is provision of a wide variety of facilities,
23 protection in their organisation and the changes they 23 services, traditions and ways of religious observance,
24 think would be appropriate or are needed to make 24 but consider that it does include places where people
25 children safer. 25 gather to engage in collective rituals, designed to bear

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1 witness or share in their faith and beliefs. 1 provision, which may be situated in a religious setting:
2 For example, a Gurdwara, a mosque, a temple, 2 for example, where non-religious organisations hire
3 a synagogue, a Friends Meeting House or a church. 3 a church hall or community centre allied with
4 Secondly, places where children receive tuition or 4 a religious organisation but are not related to it.
5 education regarding their religion or cultural or other 5 In line with other hearings, I will generally refer,
6 practices related to religious observance after school, 6 during the course of this investigation, to those who
7 or out of school, but not within a home setting with 7 have made allegations of child sexual abuse as
8 their family: for example, learning the Koran in 8 "complainants", except where there has been either
9 a madrassah; studying the Torah in a yeshiva; Christian 9 a criminal trial which has resulted in a conviction or
10 Sunday school teaching; or groups of bible study. 10 where the fact of abuse has been established by way of
11 Next, places which offer social, leisure or 11 civil justice proceedings, family justice proceedings or
12 recreational facilities, associated with, run by or 12 disciplinary or other regulatory proceedings, in which
13 organised under the auspices of, or in connection with, 13 case the description "victim" or "survivor" will be
14 the individual or their parents' religious beliefs: for 14 applied.
15 example, youth groups; holiday clubs; summer camps. 15 An important facet of this investigation is the
16 We will not be investigating or examining child 16 experience of complainants, victims and survivors. The
17 protection practices in full time education. We define 17 inquiry hopes, in particular through the core
18 schools as full-time education or something which looks 18 participant groups designated by it, but not exclusively
19 like it: for example, alternative education provision 19 through them, to give victims and survivors the
20 run by, organised by or under the auspices of any 20 opportunities to present their views and for them to
21 religious organisation. 21 recommend changes to the current system from their
22 We will also not be looking at tuition provided by 22 perspective. We are extremely pleased that groups have
23 parents at home pursuant to section 7 of the 23 come forward and they will play a full part in our
24 Education Act 1996. 24 investigation.
25 We will also not be examining voluntary youth 25 As many people in this room will know, the inquiry

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IICSA Inquiry-Child Protection in Religious Organisations and Settings 23 July 2019

1 recently published an analysis of accounts provided to 1 around them, whether or not they occupied religious
2 the Truth Project, a separate part of the inquiry from 2 offices, the families involved often viewed those
3 these investigations in which individuals come forward 3 individuals, who then turned out to be perpetrators, to
4 to share their experiences. 4 have a special place in the life of those whom they
5 The recent analysis identified a number of notable 5 abused, seeing it as their children being marked out as
6 characteristics that make the experience of those who 6 special or it being a privilege for that individual to
7 have been the subject of child sexual abuse in religious 7 take an interest in them.
8 settings potentially different to those who are abused 8 The perpetrators of abuse in some religious
9 in other contexts. 9 institutions often went on to have long and
10 In particular, from what can only be a partial 10 distinguished careers within them, sometimes despite
11 account of those who have come forward by way of the 11 disclosures of abuse having been made.
12 Truth Project, the abuse often took place in the context 12 And because perpetrators were held in such high
13 of a family life that was often orientated around 13 esteem, they were able to spend time alone with children
14 religion, parents were often proud and encouraged the 14 without query or question, in particular because it was
15 involvement in religious institutions, and the 15 often related to the religious development of the child
16 institution often permeated all aspects of their lives, 16 in question.
17 structuring their social and leisure activities, 17 Perpetrators groom the children by showing them
18 structuring sometimes their schooling and even 18 kindness, attention and encouragement, but also,
19 employment. 19 importantly, by building strong relationships with their
20 Perpetrators often, therefore, had access to all 20 family and others around them, often being seen as
21 aspects of a child's life, including their homes, where 21 either a close family friend or a spiritual adviser.
22 the perpetrator was often looked up to and welcomed as 22 When disclosures were then made, individuals who
23 a privileged and honoured guest. 23 have come forward on behalf of the Truth Project have
24 Because of the high esteem in which these 24 informed us that the reputation of the religious
25 perpetrators were often held by the families and others 25 community was seen as paramount and, therefore, when

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1 they came forward, on some occasions, to disclose abuse, 1 religious community. That does involve, or can involve,
2 they were either discredited or paid off and sometimes 2 children and young people. We need to know what the
3 the congregations or other members of the community, 3 nature of that activity is. That is what happens and
4 wishing to protect the institution, would belittle those 4 who runs it. As an investigation, we can't know if
5 who made disclosures or seek to minimise them or not 5 there is any need at all for any sort of regulation or
6 believe the accounts given. 6 oversight unless we have an idea of what's being
7 A consequence of the abuse for the victims and 7 provided, when and where.
8 survivors who have come forward were the mental health 8 We also wish to understand and know about the
9 difficulties arising which often lasted a lifetime. 9 arrangements for ensuring adequate child protection in
10 They also identified fractured and disconnected 10 those contexts, which includes finding out the following
11 relationships with their parents and other family 11 information:
12 members, which again fed into a cycle of poor emotional 12 Firstly, what checks are made of either staff or
13 health. 13 volunteers if they participate in those activities and
14 However, the loss of either their religious faith 14 if any checks are made of those who wish to become
15 and, in some cases, their religious community, has 15 religious leaders, elders or others who have some form
16 a specific impact upon those abused within the context 16 of religious or pastoral authority over others in the
17 of a religious organisation and setting. 17 religion community even if they do not undertake youth
18 Victims could sometimes not reconcile their 18 work personally.
19 religious beliefs by being sexually abused by someone 19 We next want to know whether or not promotion to
20 seen as a representative of God. This has led, in some 20 more senior positions takes adequate account of those
21 cases, to a profound loss which is impossible to 21 religious elders', or those who have -- spiritual or
22 quantify. 22 pastoral authorities' responses to child protection
23 The issues that we will examine in this 23 issues and whether or not their ability to manage and
24 investigation include the sort of community and 24 deal with such issues are part and parcel of any
25 religious activities and education undertaken by the 25 promotion.

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IICSA Inquiry-Child Protection in Religious Organisations and Settings 23 July 2019

1 Next, we want to look at how far elders, faith 1 compulsory or voluntary.


2 leaders or senior members of the organisation deal 2 Is there anyone within the organisation who acts, it
3 appropriately with issues of child protection and 3 is known in some organisations, as a designated
4 initiate change to improve practices and processes in 4 safeguarding lead or a child protection officer or
5 the culture of the organisation. How far are they aware 5 a children's officer? Is there anyone there within the
6 of any child sexual abuse within their setting? And 6 organisation who is responsible for dealing with reports
7 have they taken any steps to identify or remedy 7 of alleged sexual abuse or who is responsible for
8 inadequacies they have found and, if not, why not? 8 providing guidance and advice, whether that's at an
9 Next, how far are structures in place within the 9 individual level or a regional level or a national
10 religious organisation a barrier to dealing with, or 10 level, if they are organisations which have those sorts
11 managing, child protection concerns effectively or 11 of structures? If so, who are they, what do they do,
12 efficiently and how far do they, or can they, impact 12 and what sort of experience and training have they had?
13 upon the responses to those who have been abused? 13 Are there any child protection policies in place?
14 Fourth, what sort of examination takes place of the 14 Again, what are they, when were they implemented and how
15 suitability of individuals to undertake this work, ie by 15 are they put in place in practice?
16 way of interviews and references? And what supervision 16 Next, is there any spiritual guidance on the subject
17 is there of youth work by other members of the religious 17 of child protection or advice which is given by way of
18 organisation? What training is on offer for those who 18 religious guidance or religious messages which are used
19 undertake this work, from whom, how often and whether 19 in respect of child protection issues and, if so, how
20 it's voluntary or mandatory? 20 this is disseminated within the organisation. If the
21 Next, whether those who act as religious leaders, 21 organisation operates from more than one geographical
22 elders or those who are responsible for delivering 22 place, are there offices or agencies at a local level,
23 collective worship or who have spiritual or pastoral 23 at a regional level or at a national level which oversee
24 authority have any particular training in respect of 24 child protection work? What do they do and how do they
25 child protection? And, again, whether this is 25 operate?

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1 Are there any powers which members of the religious 1 redress offered? What psychological support or
2 community have over each other to administer directions, 2 counselling is available, if any, either from within the
3 to make individuals attend training or to comply with 3 organisation or from external bodies? How do any
4 the policies on offer? Even if there are such 4 internal investigations work and what happens in
5 directions, are they ever acted upon? Are people 5 practice? What records are kept by the organisation in
6 directed to do things in practice? Are there any powers 6 respect of any allegations made? Is there any
7 of internal discipline for those within the religious 7 communication between the different parts of the
8 community, both those who lead the community, operate 8 organisation or between different religious
9 some form of spiritual authority or those who are part 9 organisations about allegations?
10 of the community, if they have failed in their child 10 How far does the structure of the organisation or
11 protection duties? How do these powers of discipline 11 the way that it is managed or governed impact upon its
12 operate and how are they administered? 12 ability to minimise sexual abuse or to ensure an
13 Next, we want to hear about reporting abuse. We 13 adequate response to any complaints of such?
14 want to look at how allegations of abuse are dealt with 14 We also want to know about the interrelationship
15 when reported. This will include examining whether or 15 between the religious organisation and statutory
16 not there are any formal policies and, if there aren't 16 authorities. Are there processes in place for reporting
17 any formal policies, whether there are any informal 17 allegations concerning sexual abuse to be able to be
18 policies, what they are and how they operate. Whether 18 made either to social services or to the police?
19 or not there are any whistleblowing or complaints 19 If there aren't such, should there be? Should they
20 policies and practices and whether they are used. What 20 be compulsory? If so, what sort of compulsion should be
21 steps are taken to encourage those who have been 21 used?
22 sexually abused to make disclosures, if any? How are 22 Should there be a disciplinary offence or criminal
23 individuals treated when they have disclosed abuse and 23 offence of not reporting child sexual abuse or for
24 how does an organisation react to an allegation of 24 concealing sexual offending?
25 sexual abuse? Are any reparations offered? Is any 25 What are the barriers to the reporting of abuse?

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IICSA Inquiry-Child Protection in Religious Organisations and Settings 23 July 2019

1 Are they structural? Are they to do with governance? 1 are put in place between the worshipper and the
2 Are they to do with awareness? Are they to do with 2 religious organisation and how that actually works in
3 culture? And, if so, of the organisation or of our 3 practice.
4 society as a whole? 4 We also want to know whether or not the religious
5 Are there instances where abuse has not been 5 organisation undertakes any form of monitoring,
6 reported because of concerns about the reputational risk 6 auditing, reviews or assurance processes to examine
7 to the religious organisation? 7 their practices and procedures in respect of child
8 Are there adequate information sharing arrangements 8 protection, whether that's internally by way of someone
9 in place between one religious organisation and another, 9 within the organisation checking what's going on or some
10 and between the religious organisations, the police and 10 form of external auditing or assurance process.
11 social services? 11 We also want to know what sort of resources, both
12 We also know that religious organisations have, very 12 financial and by way of people, are allocated to deal
13 often, at the heart of their mission, the care of the 13 and manage with child protection issues within the
14 vulnerable and that that sometimes includes the care of 14 organisation and whether or not it is considered that
15 those who may have offended, including those who have 15 those resources are sufficient.
16 committed sexual offences. 16 We also wish to explore whether or not there's been
17 We wish to know if there are processes in place, 17 any interfaith work, either work between organisations
18 however, where those individuals who have committed 18 of the same religious tradition, or ecumenical work
19 sexual offences, if they are likely to come into contact 19 between organisations to develop any common set of
20 with children and young people, are assessed in respect 20 standards, approaches or training materials which may
21 of any risk they may pose. If they do, who does it, and 21 assist in other religious organisations.
22 whether or not there is any involvement from statutory 22 This investigation will ultimately wish to examine
23 organisations such as MAPPA or the Probation Service 23 what, if any, external oversight there is by statutory
24 and, if there are formal child protection or covenant of 24 bodies, such as the Charity Commission, of child
25 care agreements, as they are sometimes called, if they 25 protection practices and processes at present. It also

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1 wishes to identify whether or not there should be any 1 a criminal record, but also whether or not they've been
2 additional external oversight and, if so, in what form 2 barred from working in regulated activity previously.
3 that should, may or ought to take. 3 However, we also know that it is not possible to ask
4 We know that at present there is no particular 4 for an enhanced check if individuals do not undertake
5 regulation or specific oversight of child protection 5 what is known as "regulated activity".
6 policies and practices within religious organisations by 6 Regulated activity has a complex definition and this
7 either the Department of Education, Ofsted, the Social 7 investigation wishes to explore whether or not that
8 Services Investigation Departments in Wales, the 8 definition currently captures the types of situations
9 Welsh Government or Estyn, unless they provide 9 and relationships which are commonly found within
10 nurseries, full-time schooling, registered social care 10 religious organisations.
11 facilities or other facilities which are registered with 11 Examination of the question of any form of external
12 those organisations. 12 or internal regulation will require us to look at the
13 The Charity Commission does require that all 13 following issues:
14 religious organisations which are registered as 14 Should there be a common set of basic standards
15 charities do have what they call a "safeguarding policy" 15 applicable across religious organisations in relation to
16 and trustees have to declare that they have such. 16 how they manage child protection issues;
17 We also understand that the Charity Commission have, 17 Should there be a form of registration scheme for
18 on a small number of occasions, looked at religious 18 bodies which run activities for children which would
19 organisations and their child protection policies by way 19 require the meeting of certain minimum standards about
20 of a regulatory investigation which they call 20 keeping children safe. If there should be such
21 a "statutory inquiry". 21 a scheme, should that be voluntary or compulsory.
22 We also know that where individuals undertake 22 Should there be any form of inspection, whether by
23 regulated activities, they must have a relevant check 23 a body commissioned by a religious organisation or an
24 made to the Disclosure and Barring Service, which 24 external body, of the provision for children and young
25 provides details not only of whether or not they have 25 people run by religious organisations?

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IICSA Inquiry-Child Protection in Religious Organisations and Settings 23 July 2019

1 Could there, or should there, be a common set of 1 recently published a consultation document about
2 policies, training materials or even a common basic 2 a voluntary code of practice for out-of-school settings
3 qualification for faith leaders in respect of child 3 which includes an advice and checklist of matters which
4 protection? 4 an organisation providing youth or voluntary services
5 As I have already identified, we wish to look at 5 should have regard to.
6 whether the current system of vetting as operated by the 6 Having now identified the issues and themes we wish
7 Disclosure and Barring Service, adequately serves the 7 to explore during the course of the hearing, I will now
8 needs of religious organisations and communities, and in 8 turn to the management of the hearings and the way that
9 particular, firstly, whether the definition of 9 we will deal with the process.
10 "regulated activity" is sufficient to encompass the 10 Given the breadth of this investigation, the inquiry
11 activities undertaken by religious organisations and the 11 is mindful of the need to act proportionately in the
12 types of spiritual authority that individuals may have. 12 manner in which it envisages and marshals the
13 Secondly, whether the definition of "regulated 13 documentary information and the oral hearings. As you
14 activity" is sufficiently clear to religious 14 have already seen, there are a large number of core
15 organisations and enables those organisations to know 15 participant groups.
16 who will be checked and on what basis. 16 We will seek to focus carefully within oral evidence
17 Lastly, whether or not, in fact, the current system 17 the central points which arise from witness material
18 of checking and vetting is excessively onerous on 18 gathered. We will also focus carefully as to who will
19 religious organisations and institutions. 19 come to give evidence and we may not hear -- in fact,
20 We also wish to examine whether the current guidance 20 it's highly unlikely we will be able to hear -- oral
21 available from the Department of Education in England 21 evidence about every religious organisation examined in
22 and the Welsh Government in Wales provides adequate 22 this part of the investigation. Any oral evidence we do
23 information for religious organisations and settings as 23 seek will be directed to a particular theme or issue.
24 to their duties and responsibilities. 24 Where additional evidence may be relevant to the
25 We are aware that the Department of Education has 25 issues, then it may be put in evidence by being

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1 published on the inquiry's website or by being mentioned 1 witness statements. By a "witness statement", we mean
2 or what we call "adduced" by counsel to the 2 written information about the themes set out above in
3 investigation, either during the opening or during the 3 a paginated form, signed or authored by someone within
4 hearing, so that it forms part of the material which the 4 the religious organisation who has knowledge and
5 inquiry will consider when reaching its conclusions and 5 familiarity with practices or processes or by a number
6 within its written report. 6 of individuals, if that is more appropriate, and setting
7 Within the context of this investigation, we are 7 out a statement of truth at the bottom.
8 focusing largely upon obtaining and receiving witness 8 We have already made requests to charities which
9 evidence with accompanying documents exhibited to them 9 represent children, such as the NSPCC, who we know have
10 from various individuals and organisations in order to 10 done work with various religious organisations,
11 seek to build as comprehensive a picture as possible of 11 providing training materials, consultancy and other
12 the issues which I have outlined above. 12 advice, and who also run the national helpline for
13 To that end, since this investigation was announced 13 children called ChildLine.
14 in May 2019, we have already started to make a series of 14 We have also approached interfaith organisations,
15 formal requests for witness evidence and information 15 such as the Faith Forums for London and the Interfaith
16 which is known under the Inquiry Rules as a rule 9 16 Network for the UK, to ask those organisations what work
17 request. 17 it does and what information sharing or discussion has
18 In this investigation, unlike others, we have not 18 taken place on an interfaith basis. We have also
19 sought to obtain documentary material in advance of 19 written to some, but not all, religious organisations
20 asking for witness requests in the vast majority of 20 with a presence within England and Wales and intend to
21 cases, because the sheer scale and nature of such would 21 write to others in the very near future.
22 be absolutely overwhelming and would not necessarily 22 We are unlikely to be able to write to every single
23 assist us in having a hearing which can scrutinise what 23 religious organisation, even if we could compile a list
24 happens now and what should happen in the future. 24 of those which existed, but hope to have a spread from
25 To date, we have made a number of requests for 25 those with a significant number of adherents within

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1 England and Wales. 1 organisations in respect of their response to child


2 We will also be writing to religious organisations 2 sexual abuse from the experience they have, if any.
3 who provide informal or formal networks of advice and 3 We will also be writing to the Charity Commission,
4 assistance to each other or act as umbrella groups: for 4 which is the body which provides a degree of oversight
5 example, the Evangelical Alliance or the Muslim Council 5 into the management of charities by trustees at present.
6 of Britain. We are also writing to organisations who 6 We recognise that not every religious organisation is
7 work with religious organisations and settings to 7 a registered charity, but a large number of them are.
8 provide advice, training or consultancy in relation to 8 The Charity Commission has recently provided
9 child protection work to ask for information and 9 guidance to both charities and trustees about their
10 evidence about the work they have undertaken. 10 child protection responsibilities. We will also be
11 We will also be writing to a number of survivor 11 writing to other associations and bodies which have an
12 organisations who represent and provide advocacy 12 interest in this area or represent individuals who work,
13 services to those who have suffered sexual abuse in 13 volunteer or are involved in advising such
14 a religious context. 14 organisations. We will also be obtaining material from
15 We also wish to have some evidence from individual 15 relevant statutory bodies such as the Department for
16 victims and survivors about their experience of 16 Education, the Welsh Assembly, the Department for
17 institutional response to abuse, and their views as to 17 Digital Culture, Media and Sport, the Home Office, the
18 the current process of reparations by religious 18 Disclosure and Barring Service, the Ministry of Housing,
19 organisations. 19 Communities & Local Government, which we understand runs
20 We will also be writing to local authorities as well 20 and provides training on child protection issues for
21 as their relevant partner agencies to ask what 21 religious leaders, and bodies which provide regulation
22 particular work they undertake with religious 22 or inspection of other significant providers of youth or
23 organisations and settings and if there are any 23 social care services in England and Wales.
24 particular issues which arise from their perspective 24 We will also be taking material from those places
25 about policies, practices and processes of such 25 which train religious leaders within England and Wales

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1 and we will be sending rule 9 requests to all core 1 it's sent back with the redactions to the person that
2 participants, all of whom fall within one of those other 2 sent the document in, who we call, for these purposes,
3 categories I have previously mentioned. 3 the "material provider", for them to check that they are
4 Once it has received this witness evidence and 4 happy with the redactions made.
5 accompanying documentation, the investigation team will 5 If any core participant has any query regarding any
6 determine which documents and what information are 6 aspect of this process, the investigation team are happy
7 relevant. The inquiry then seeks to determine which 7 to address them after this hearing.
8 witness statements may shed light or provide information 8 The protocol on redaction sets out in full the
9 relating to any of the issues I set out earlier. 9 different circumstances in which redaction will take
10 Once a document has been identified as relevant, it 10 place, but the principal reason relates to the need to
11 is then reviewed by the investigation team for the 11 respect the privacy and protect the identification of
12 purposes of what we call "redaction". For those 12 certain categories of individuals or information about
13 unfamiliar with the expression, which is some of the 13 certain individuals.
14 people in this room, but not all of them, I do 14 Where an individual name or other confidential
15 recognise, so I apologise to some of you for teaching 15 material about them is set out in documents but is not
16 you something which you already know, redaction is the 16 relevant, instead of a cipher, the inquiry will simply
17 mechanism by which words or passages in documents are 17 blank out the information and overwrite this by stating
18 blanked out and anonymised so that they cannot be 18 that a particular name, place or information has been
19 physically read. Redactions are applied in this case in 19 redacted.
20 accordance with version 3 of the inquiry's protocol on 20 The inquiry is alive to the need to ensure that
21 the redaction of documents, which is available from the 21 there is no jigsaw identification of individuals subject
22 inquiry's website. The team may also apply ciphers 22 to anonymity or ciphers and has taken steps to ensure
23 where this is necessary to protect the names of 23 not just anonymisation of names but other specific
24 individuals. 24 details which could lead, by deduction, to
25 Once the document has been reviewed in this way, 25 identification.

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1 One of the primary reasons that we share all 1 everyone responding quickly and efficiently to our
2 redacted material with the material provider who 2 requests for witness evidence.
3 originally gave them to us is to ensure that the 3 Draft rather than finalised signed statements are
4 processes have been adequately followed, to avoid 4 requested at first, so that the inquiry can consider
5 inadvertent identification. 5 whether any additional matters arise and need to be
6 I would like to impress, therefore, upon all 6 addressed in the statement. Once the investigation team
7 material providers the importance of a careful review of 7 has reviewed and provided feedback on the draft, it is
8 the material which has been provisionally redacted and 8 then sent back to the witness to sign. An electronic
9 I am grateful to them for their time and careful 9 version of the signed statements is then disclosed to
10 attention to what is an exceptionally important task. 10 core participants.
11 Once provisional redactions have been applied and 11 We are however, as you would imagine, reliant upon
12 agreed, the documents are then shared electronically by 12 receiving material within good time in order to make
13 the person or institution who originally provided it 13 good progress for this.
14 with them. Once they have had the opportunity to 14 We do not envisage that it will be necessary to call
15 comment on the proposed redactions and any additional 15 all those who provide witness statements to give oral
16 redactions have been made, the material is then 16 evidence. The purpose of the oral hearings is to put
17 transferred to the core participant database, which is 17 the key material before the public and let the panel
18 known for the purposes of this inquiry as Relativity, 18 hear from the most significant individuals involved, and
19 where it can be accessed by all core participants with 19 we hope that most, if not all, witness statements and
20 a specific interest in that material. 20 relevant documents will have been disclosed to all
21 It is hoped that we will send out all requests for 21 participants by the end of January 2020.
22 witness statements by the end of September 2019 and we 22 It may be possible that information found within
23 will have received all relevant material 23 witness statements will lead to further witness evidence
24 by December 2019 so that disclosure can take place in 24 being gathered once we have seen the drafts, but it is
25 good time before the hearing. We are reliant upon 25 hoped that the process will be relatively exhaustive at

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1 the first stage and so the need for supplementary 1 I now turn to the hearing dates.
2 statements should hopefully be limited. 2 The inquiry panel will sit for two weeks from
3 I now turn to the issue of legal representation. 3 16 March 2020 to 27 March 2020, inclusive. Normal
4 Many of you here today are not legally represented. The 4 sitting hours will be from 10.00 am to 4.15 pm and the
5 inquiry would encourage you to consider being legally 5 panel will sit five days a week with a break for lunch
6 represented for the next phase of the inquiry's work and 6 and also short breaks for the transcribers, both during
7 at any ultimate hearing. In certain circumstances, the 7 the morning and afternoon sessions.
8 inquiry can assist in the provision of funding for legal 8 It is likely that on a Friday we will try and break
9 expenses, as the chair has the power to make awards 9 earlier than 4.15 to meet the requirements of sunset for
10 which cover reasonable legal costs for those who give 10 those who have religious observance at that time.
11 evidence to the inquiry. This is under section 40 of 11 It is not possible, at this stage, to set out which
12 the Inquiries Act 2005. 12 witnesses will be asked to give evidence and when they
13 Again, there is a protocol for such, known as the 13 will be asked to attend. All those who are likely to be
14 cost protocol, available on the website, which I would 14 asked to give live evidence will be informed of such at
15 urge all of you to read. Decisions about the provision 15 some point in January or early February 2020 and asked
16 of reasonable legal expenses are made on a case-by-case 16 for dates when they cannot attend.
17 basis. 17 The inquiry will hold a further preliminary hearing
18 Please discuss matters with Ms Nicholls, the 18 at 10.30 am on 14 January 2020 to set out a more
19 investigation lawyer who is sat at the front, if needs 19 detailed outline for the hearing and to deal with all
20 be, after the hearing, or by email subsequently. 20 relevant issues and housekeeping matters that may have
21 Chair, I invite you to make a direction for any 21 arisen by that stage.
22 applications for funding under section 40 of the 22 Anyone who does come to give evidence will have
23 Inquiries Act 2005 to be sent to the solicitor to the 23 a chance to familiarise themselves with the hearing room
24 inquiry in the manner set out in the guidance on the 24 here at Pocock Street and can be provided with
25 website no later than 4.00 pm on 30 August 2019. 25 appropriate counselling and emotional support, both

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1 before, during and after any evidence which is given. 1 in June 2018 which adopted this in all other
2 The inquiry will not compel anyone who is a victim 2 investigations, subject to a three- rather than
3 and survivor of sexual abuse to give oral evidence if 3 a five-minute delay, and I remind everyone of that
4 they do not wish to do so. The timetable, to summarise, 4 amendment now.
5 is likely to be as follows: 5 The current arrangements for broadcasting the
6 Disclosure of witness statements by the end 6 substantive public hearings are as follows:
7 of December 2019/beginning of January 2020. 7 Firstly, there is seating, as you can see, both in
8 The proposed witness list circulated around 8 the hearing room and in an annex which will show a video
9 mid-January 2020. 9 of the proceedings with a three-minute delay.
10 Core participants then have a chance to comment upon 10 Secondly, live text-based communications are
11 the timetable within a reasonable period thereafter. 11 permitted from the annex room, but not the hearing room
12 There will then be witness evidence proposals for 12 itself.
13 live witnesses which will be circulated at least two to 13 A live transcript of proceedings will be provided
14 three weeks before they are due to give evidence, and 14 and is available on screens within the inquiry room, and
15 any submissions on the evidence proposals to be made 15 transcripts of oral evidence will be posted to the
16 shortly thereafter. 16 website after the hearing has finished.
17 We can make reasonable adjustments for an 17 For those core participants and witnesses who have
18 individual's disability or health condition if they are 18 anonymity, the following special measures can be made
19 coming to give evidence, and also have facilities to 19 available: witnesses will give their evidence in the
20 give evidence by videolink if required. 20 hearing room. However, they will not be filmed during
21 I now turn to broadcasting. 21 their testimony and the camera, instead, will be
22 The previous chair made a general ruling on the 22 directed at the panel or counsel to the investigation
23 broadcasting of proceedings in April 2016, such that 23 and not them; the voices of all anonymous witnesses can
24 hearings would be live streamed on the internet subject 24 be distorted, if a request is made in advance, to avoid
25 to a five-minute delay. Chair, you made a ruling 25 identification; members of the public and press are

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1 excluded from the hearing room during the course of 1 Children, a group of survivors of child sexual abuse,
2 anonymous witness testimony. They are able to watch 2 former elders and former members of the Jehovah's
3 proceedings in the annex subject to the relevant delay. 3 Witnesses who were active within the religious
4 I now turn to core participant determinations. 4 organisation within the UK.
5 The inquiry received 33 applications for core 5 Next, Migdal Emunah, a registered charity and
6 participant status and the chair has designated the 6 voluntary agency which provides a support service for
7 following 20 individuals and organisations as core 7 Jewish victims of sexual abuse and their families. Then
8 participants to this investigation. 8 Lisa Oakley, an expert researcher and survivor advocate
9 Firstly, the Home Office, which we understand acts 9 specialising in abuse in faith settings, particularly in
10 in this investigation as a representative of all 10 connection with Christian denominations and the current
11 government departments with an interest in the issues 11 chair of the National Working Group on child abuse
12 under consideration. 12 linked to faith and belief.
13 Next, the Charity Commission, Ofsted, the Pagan 13 Next, Yasmin Rehman, a victim and survivor advocate,
14 Federation, the United Reformed Church, the Baptist 14 researcher, expert and policy specialist, working in
15 Union of Great Britain, the Christian Congregation of 15 areas of violence against women and girls and
16 Jehovah's Witnesses, the Evangelical Alliance, which we 16 safeguarding of children and adults in faith settings,
17 understand is an umbrella organisation representing and 17 particularly those relating to Muslim and South Asian
18 advocating for a large number of Evangelical Christian 18 communities. She is currently the Chief Executive
19 organisations, churches and individuals across a range 19 Officer of JUNO Women's Aid.
20 of denominations within the UK, the United Synagogue, 20 Next, Sadia Hameed, a victim and survivor advocate
21 Liberal Judaism, the Senior Rabbi to Reform Judaism, the 21 working in the areas of sexual violence against women
22 Union of Hebrew Congregations, the Interfaith 22 and girls and the protection of children and vulnerable
23 Alliance UK, which I have already described, 23 adults in faith settings within the Muslim community.
24 Thirtyone:eight, an independent Christian safeguarding 24 She is the current director of Gloucestershire Sisters,
25 charity. Next, Ex-JW Advocates Opposing Crimes Against 25 who I have already described.

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1 And last, Southall Black Sisters, a not-for-profit 1 James Lloyd Evans, known, as I understand it, as
2 organisation which works to support black and ethnic 2 Lloyd Evans. Next, Mr Manny Waks, the Chief Executive
3 minority women, offering advice, advocacy, counselling 3 Officer of Kol v'Oz, and then Mr Thomas Beale, solicitor
4 and other services as a result of violence or sexual 4 on behalf of individuals whom the inquiry is calling
5 violence. 5 PR-A5, PR-A6 and PR-A9.
6 Provisional determinations have been issued in 6 Before they speak, and for the benefits of other
7 respect of a number of applications which the chair is 7 core participants, I will briefly summarise their
8 not presently minded to grant. The following have not 8 applications and provide you, chair, with the relevant
9 sought to renew their applications, and so the inquiry 9 Inquiry Rules.
10 will finalise and publish the determinations refusing 10 Mr Evans is a former elder of the Jehovah's
11 them core participant status after this hearing. 11 Witnesses who is a campaigner, advocate and activist who
12 They are: the Catholic Council for the Independent 12 works with those who have left the organisation,
13 Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse; secondly, Nahamu; 13 including those who have been subject to alleged child
14 thirdly, Amina Lone; fourthly, PR-A1; fifth, PR-A2; 14 sexual abuse within it. He has a high public and social
15 sixth, PR-A3; seventh, PR-A4; and eighth and ninth, 15 media presence, he has written articles, books, and runs
16 PR-A7 and PR-A8. 16 a website on the subject.
17 We have two applications from individuals we will 17 Next, Mr Waks is the Chief Executive of Kol v'Oz
18 call PR-X1 and PR-X2, which were declined, and we are 18 which provides support internationally for those within
19 unclear whether or not they are renewing their 19 the Jewish community who have been subject to sexual
20 application. If they do so, the investigation will deal 20 abuse. He was involved in the Australian Royal
21 with that at that time. 21 Commission into Sexual Abuse and he identifies, in
22 The following individuals have sought to renew their 22 written submissions he has already made to you, chair,
23 application and will do so now in the following order, 23 that he has assisted a number of victims and survivors
24 speaking for no more than ten minutes each. 24 of such abuse within the United Kingdom.
25 Firstly, Mr Richard Scorer on behalf of 25 He identifies that the support often is provided by

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1 him because the size of the Jewish community in the UK 1 response to allegations of child sexual abuse and
2 means that there is a risk of community members becoming 2 whether or not the oversight of the Jehovah's Witnesses
3 aware of sexual abuse, if individuals are told, within 3 community should be different.
4 England and Wales. 4 I remind you, chair, of rule 5 of the Inquiry Rules
5 Mr Waks also identifies he has had dealings and 5 2006. You have a power to designate someone as a core
6 communications with the relevant institutions which 6 participant and can take into account all relevant facts
7 represent Judaism in England and Wales during this time 7 and matters, but must in particular consider if: (a) the
8 including the Chief Rabbi. 8 person has played a direct and significant role in
9 He identifies that his status as someone who is 9 relation to the matters to which the inquiry relates; or
10 outside the UK may make it easier for him to raise 10 (b) the person has a significant interest in an
11 issues which are considered to be controversial or 11 important aspect of the matters to which the inquiry
12 sensitive for those within the Jewish community without 12 relates; or (c) the person may be subject to explicit or
13 fear of repercussion. 13 significant criticism in any report published by the
14 PR-A9 was a senior member of the Jehovah's Witnesses 14 inquiry. It is for you, chair, to decide if the
15 for many years. His position of authority means he 15 interest is significant in the context of this
16 submits that he is able to deal first hand with the 16 investigation.
17 approach of the Jehovah's Witnesses to child protection 17 I also remind you that within the update note issued
18 and he has lived experience of sexual abuse within that 18 with the scope of this investigation, it was made clear
19 organisation. 19 that this investigation is not focused upon any
20 He has also been in touch with significant numbers 20 individual case study or any particular religious
21 of individuals who have also been victims of sexual 21 organisation, but seeks to look at common issues across
22 abuse. 22 a number of religious organisations and how those issues
23 PR-A5 and PR-A6 again were members of Jehovah's 23 can be met and overcome.
24 Witnesses. Mr Beale will submit that they can provide 24 It is also not specifically focused upon the
25 a significant role in relation to dealing with the 25 examination in any detail of any one particular

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1 individual experience of sexual abuse. I now hand over 1 truly committed to child protection and are truly able
2 to Mr Scorer to make his submissions. 2 to keep children safe. You are going to have to address
3 Submissions by MR SCORER 3 that essential question.
4 MR SCORER: Thank you, chair. As Ms Scolding has explained, 4 You will be aware that many organisations have come
5 this is a renewal of a core participant's application on 5 before this inquiry and have said that they are
6 behalf of James Lloyd Evans. Chair, as you know, 6 committed to child protection and have said that
7 Mr Evans is a former Jehovah's Witness who now works as 7 children are safe in their hands, but then you found on
8 an activist campaigner and documentary maker on behalf 8 investigation that often there is a significant gap
9 of former Jehovah's Witnesses, including many survivors 9 between rhetoric and reality.
10 of sexual abuse. 10 You have seen that with the Anglican and Catholic
11 Chair, in your determination of this application, 11 Churches. We would suggest that that gap between
12 you explained that you don't consider that Mr Evans has 12 rhetoric and reality may be significant for a number of
13 a sufficient interest and you don't consider that he has 13 the organisations that you are investigating in this
14 played a significant role. You also point out that core 14 strand. We know that organisations -- and the Jehovah's
15 participant status has been awarded to a group of 15 Witnesses are one -- which have an insular culture and
16 survivors of abuse within the Jehovah's Witnesses and 16 which are cut off from the outside world and may be said
17 you also point out that this investigation is thematic 17 to be hostile to outside influence are likely to find it
18 rather than based on case studies. 18 more difficult to deliver proper levels of child
19 Chair, what we say about this is as follows: 19 protection. We know from the Australian Royal
20 First of all, whether this investigation is thematic 20 Commission that there are some serious problems in
21 or however it's defined, in order for it to be 21 relation to child protection within that organisation.
22 a meaningful investigation, then you will need, over the 22 So what we say that your inquiry needs, and what you
23 course of the investigation, to reach 23 need, is core participants who are able to help you
24 a properly-informed view as to whether the religious 24 illuminate that gap between rhetoric and reality, and so
25 groups that you're looking at in this investigation are 25 far as child protection in the Jehovah's Witnesses is

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1 concerned, we say that nobody is in fact better 1 organisation, this religious group, as closely as
2 qualified to comment on that, and to provide evidence of 2 Mr Evans is, so his knowledge and his huge expertise is
3 that, than Mr Evans is. 3 crucial if this inquiry is to be a meaningful inquiry.
4 You know from his application that Mr Evans is 4 Of course, as you have identified in the
5 a former member and a former elder of the Jehovah's 5 determination, it's possible for him to contribute to
6 Witnesses. That in itself is valuable experience which 6 the inquiry by simply being a witness rather than a core
7 many others may not have, but he is also a great deal 7 participant. But as you know, the reality is that if
8 more than that. He is somebody, I think it's right to 8 you are going to be involved in helping to interrogate
9 say, who is the only full-time ex-Jehovah's Witness 9 what an organisation is actually doing on the ground,
10 advocate in the world. His day job solely involves 10 then in reality he needs to be in a position to see the
11 keeping abreast of the latest developments within the 11 witness evidence and indeed see any documentation that
12 Jehovah's Witnesses across the board, across the whole 12 this organisation will be asked to supply to the
13 spectrum of the religion, but also including, 13 inquiry, and he can only do that, in reality, as a core
14 specifically, its policies on child sex abuse and how 14 participant.
15 these are impacting on the lives of victims and 15 So, chair, that's the basis of our application. We
16 survivors. We set out in the application his extensive 16 say that it's simply wrong to say that Mr Evans doesn't
17 writings and his extensive documentary films on exactly 17 have a significant interest. The work that he does, the
18 those issues, and the simple fact is that nobody is 18 research that he has done, the publications that he's
19 spending as much time as he is on analysing what's going 19 written, the documentaries that he's made, all
20 on in the Jehovah's Witnesses now and nobody has written 20 demonstrate not only that he has a significant interest
21 and researched it as extensively as he has. 21 and has played a significant role, but he has probably
22 Chair, of course it's right to say that the 22 done so to a far greater extent than almost any other
23 contribution of individual survivors will be important, 23 ex-Jehovah's Witness activist worldwide and, on that
24 we don't seek to detract from that in any way. What we 24 basis, it's only right that he should have core
25 do say is that there is nobody who is following this 25 participant status.

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1 We say that this inquiry would be much poorer 1 addressing the issue of child sexual abuse in the global
2 without the benefit of his expertise and, without that 2 Jewish community. "Kol" means "voice" in Hebrew and
3 expertise, there is a risk that the Jehovah's Witnesses 3 "Oz" means "courage" or "strength". This is a direct
4 in effect get a free pass. 4 reflection of our work. I am also a survivor of
5 So, chair, that's the basis of our renewal 5 institutional child sexual abuse that transpired in a
6 application. Chair, whilst I am on my feet, I know that 6 ultra-Orthodox Chabad institution in Melbourne,
7 later on today Mr Barker is to raise some concerns in 7 Australia.
8 relation to documents and the Jehovah's Witnesses. 8 Since 2011, when I was a vice president of the
9 I think it's right that I take this opportunity to put 9 Executive Council of Australian Jewry, the Australian
10 on record our support for the concerns that he is 10 Jewish community's peak national body, I decided to
11 raising. 11 publicly disclose my personal experience of abuse.
12 The suggestion that any organisation, whether it's 12 I have been dedicated to this issue, initially through
13 the Jehovah's Witnesses or any organisation, would seek 13 the organisation I founded in Australia, called Tzedek,
14 to dispose of inconvenient documentation before you get 14 "justice" in Hebrew, which is still implementing its
15 to it -- you, as an inquiry -- is obviously a very 15 work on a domestic level in Australia, and in recent
16 serious concern and we would say that if you need to use 16 years through Kol v'Oz, which is based in Israel and
17 your powers to prevent that from happening, then you 17 works closely with stakeholders in many Jewish
18 should not hesitate to do so. So we put on record our 18 communities around the world, including in the UK.
19 support for the concerns we understand Mr Barker is to 19 As noted in my initial application, I was
20 raise later on. 20 instrumental in Australia's Royal Commission into the
21 Thank you, chair. 21 Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which
22 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mr Scorer. Mr Waks? 22 also examined the Australian Jewish community. It was
23 Submissions by MR WAKS 23 case study numbers 22 and 53 of 57 case studies
24 MR WAKS: Madam chair, I am the head of Kol v'Oz an 24 conducted by the Royal Commission.
25 Israel-based, international, non-government organisation 25 My father and I were two of six witnesses

Page 49 Page 50

1 representing victims and survivors and their families. 1 community's insulation from the outside world at least
2 Around a dozen other witnesses represented the relevant 2 in relation to sensitive issues.
3 institutions who are mainly part of the worldwide 3 These laws emanated from traditional persecution of
4 Chabad-Lubavitch organisation, which is also implicated 4 Jews throughout Europe since medieval times and are now
5 in issues that are likely to come before this UK 5 mingled with, and reinforced by, strong emotional
6 inquiry. 6 responses associated with the Shoah, the 20th century
7 The Australian Royal Commission's final report and 7 Holocaust in Europe, reinforcing a culture which
8 any internet search of media articles relating to the 8 engenders fear and distrust of state-run, external
9 2015 and 2017 public hearings, which I attended in full, 9 policing or other government agencies.
10 reveal that the testimony about what happened within the 10 The Mesirah idealology permeated the approach of the
11 Jewish institutions in Australia was quite incredible 11 institutions in Australia in covering up decades of
12 and, to a large degree, unexpected. 12 sexual abuse, coupled with a high level of pressure on
13 While some of the general traits discovered by the 13 victims/survivors and their families to keep matters
14 various Inquiry Commissions in relation to sexual abuse 14 within the insular community and under the control of
15 within non-Jewish (largely Christian-denominated) 15 Rabbis.
16 institutions and the behaviour patterns of paedophiles 16 The "code of silence" beyond community boundaries is
17 are also common to the Jewish institutions, the 17 enforced by penalties of shunning and effective
18 Australian Royal Commission had a very specific learning 18 excommunication affecting the wider family of those who
19 curve regarding specific practices found only in 19 make any attempt to alert authorities outside of the
20 ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities. 20 insular community's informal channels for resolution of
21 These include, quite uniquely, laws relating to 21 such matters.
22 Mesirah: strict Jewish law prohibitions on bringing 22 On a personal note, myself and my family experienced
23 civil proceedings or reporting certain types of crimes 23 that direct excommunication.
24 to secular, ie any non-Jewish, authorities. 24 I should note, however, that some within the
25 These strict laws were designed to maintain the 25 ultra-Orthodox community often tried to minimise or even

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1 dismiss the relevance of the concept of Mesirah today. 1 a near-complete absence of this type of advocacy and
2 The Australian Royal Commission makes it clear Mesirah 2 representation of sexual abuse victims and survivors in
3 is, in fact, a current and significant issue. 3 the Jewish community, it feels surreal that we are now
4 We are grateful to the inquiry for recognising the 4 addressing an issue of potential duplication of
5 important role that Migdal Emunah and its founder, 5 resources on the victims' side.
6 Ms Yehudis Goldsobel, have to play in the inquiry for 6 In this regard, I wish to assure the inquiry that
7 which they have been granted core participant status. 7 the very limited resources of Kol v'Oz and Migdal Emunah
8 Non-government, non-profit organisations such as 8 are deployed very carefully. Both organisations make
9 Kol v'Oz, Migdal Emunah and Tzedek, founded by founders 9 sure that their already stretched resources are not
10 of sexual abuse within the Jewish community and 10 duplicated.
11 dedicated to assisting victims and survivors and their 11 To this end, I am pleased to be here today, having
12 families and advocating for systemic reforms to prevent 12 travelled this morning from Israel especially for
13 future abuse, mostly did not exist until about 2012, 13 today's hearing, to explain and further clarify the
14 after I went public with my personal story. 14 different, though complementary, focus areas and roles
15 In considering our renewed application for core 15 of Kol v'Oz and Migdal Emunah respectively.
16 participant status, this inquiry will decide whether 16 I must again emphasise Ms Goldsobel and I have
17 only Migdal Emunah shall be designated as a core 17 worked closely over the years, and I look forward to
18 participant for this interest group or whether there is 18 continuing this beneficial relationship for all
19 also sufficient public interest, taking into account the 19 concerned, especially to the local Jewish community.
20 prescribed test for deciding on designation of any core 20 In fact, it was after my discussions with
21 participant, in having Kol v'Oz represented by me as an 21 Ms Goldsobel, and with her support and encouragement,
22 additional core participant, despite Kol v'Oz not being 22 that we decided to renew our application for core
23 an organisation focused exclusively on UK victims, 23 participant status.
24 survivors and institutions. 24 Pausing here, I wish to acknowledge that IICSA has
25 Compared to me seven years ago, when there was 25 formally invited Kol v'Oz to provide a witness statement

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1 under rule 9 of the Inquiry Rules 2006. I understand, 1 through their recognised legal representative or on
2 from a simple reading of the Inquiry Rules, that 2 their own in the absence of legal representation.
3 a rule 9 witness has possibilities of participating in 3 IICSA's rule 9 request to Kol v'Oz helpfully
4 the inquiry beyond submitting a preprepared statement, 4 included a list of 13 questions, plus sub-questions, as
5 witness statement, and appearing to give oral evidence 5 a guide to the scope of potential evidence that Kol v'Oz
6 and be examined at public hearings. 6 might contribute to the inquiry.
7 Specifically, under rule 10(3), a rule 9 witness, 7 The topics which the inquiry has identified in this
8 not a core participant, who has been questioned by the 8 way include, in addition to questions regarding
9 inquiry panel or by counsel to the inquiry, may be asked 9 potential reforms that we are also able to address by
10 questions by his or her own recognised legal 10 reference to experience in similar communities
11 representative and, where the evidence of another 11 elsewhere, issues that are unique to ultra-Orthodox
12 witness is related to his own evidence, the rule 9 12 Jewish communities in both the UK and elsewhere that are
13 witness may also apply to the chair to allow his 13 only emerging from the shadows very reluctantly in the
14 recognised legal representative to question the other 14 last few years as a result of the efforts of Kol v'Oz,
15 witness. 15 Migdal Emunah and others. Some of these topics include:
16 Similarly, with a slight contrast, a core 16 "How far religious organisations understand and
17 representative is permitted, under rule 10(4), to apply 17 respond sensitively to child sexual abuse alleged to
18 to the chair to ask questions of any witness. 18 have taken place within their religious organisations;
19 In each case, either the core participant or the 19 "Examples of poor or good practice, or particular
20 rule 9 witness must, under rule 10(5), state the issues 20 concerns about aspects of child protection in terms of
21 on which questions will be asked and whether such 21 how relevant religious organisations understand sexual
22 questions raise new issues or, if not, why the 22 abuse and manage child protection; and
23 questioning. 23 "Perspectives of victims and survivors who engage
24 Importantly, a core representative is permitted, 24 with Kol v'Oz on:
25 under rule 11, to make opening and closing statements 25 "Particular structural or organisational features of

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1 a religious organisation which make effective child 1 real time, including by asking questions of witnesses on
2 protection more difficult to deliver; and 2 these types of specific questions which may be flagged
3 "Features of religious settings or organisations 3 or as arising, perhaps subtly, from the principal
4 which can make it more difficult for victims and 4 questioning of witnesses by counsel assisting the
5 survivors to (i) disclose their abuse, and (ii) to be 5 inquiry only as and when such additional questions might
6 responded to adequately by the religious organisation; 6 add particular value.
7 and 7 As stated in our written information, in support of
8 "Other issues specific to the particular religious 8 the renewal of our application for core participant
9 organisations and settings in question which can 9 status, we welcome the opportunity to further clarify
10 influence the approach the organisation takes or the 10 the following in brief summary:
11 responses it makes to child protection concerns." 11 I. Kol v'Oz has provided support and advice to
12 As I have explained with reference to the Australian 12 numerous victims and survivors of child sexual abuse
13 Royal Commission experience, some of the particular 13 within the UK Jewish community, together with relevant
14 cultural and historical practices within the 14 family members, advocacy groups and other institutions.
15 ultra-Orthodox community will most likely have a strong 15 II. Some UK victims and survivors came to Kol v'Oz
16 impact on the evidence which this inquiry will hear, or, 16 rather than reaching out to local support and advocacy
17 as the case may be, not get to hear, due to the 17 groups, because they did not wish to interact with
18 restrictions I have mentioned. 18 locals with whom they may be familiar, or vice versa,
19 While Kol v'Oz is able to make a lesser contribution 19 and face the potential consequences associated with
20 by participation in the inquiry under rule 9, we feel it 20 exposure of the abuse.
21 is in the interests of the inquiry, and in the public 21 III. Based on the above, Kol v'Oz is able to
22 interest, that Kol v'Oz be designated as a core 22 provide input on the issues identified by IICSA, not
23 participant in addition to Migdal Emunah so that we may 23 only from an international perspective, but also with
24 make opening and closing submissions on these key issues 24 reference to particular situations we have experienced
25 and have a more appropriate opportunity to contribute in 25 here in the UK.

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1 IV. Over the years, Migdal Emunah and Ms Goldsobel 1 Migdal Emunah's activities.
2 have been constrained from addressing some matters 2 I would ask the chair to give significant weight to
3 involving sexual abuse within the UK Jewish community in 3 this issue. Kol v'Oz will provide all the information
4 a more robust way due to the need to balance a more 4 at its disposal in an honest and forthright manner,
5 forthright approach with a need to maintain working 5 without fear or favour whatsoever.
6 relationships as best Ms Goldsobel can with the UK's 6 VII. Ms Goldsobel is aware that Kol v'Oz is
7 leading Jewish institutions. 7 renewing its application on the basis set out above and
8 V. On numerous occasions after liaising closely 8 would be in a position to confirm these critical points.
9 with Ms Goldsobel, Kol v'Oz and I have taken up 9 In conclusion, I hope that I have clarified the
10 significant issues regarding child sexual abuse within 10 reasons why Kol v'Oz is an individual organisation that
11 the local UK Jewish community institutions, when 11 is in a truly unique position to provide input to the
12 Migdal Emunah may have faced potential repercussions for 12 inquiry in real time as a core participant in a manner
13 doing so. I have elaborated on these matters in more 13 that will add to the input of Migdal Emunah rather than
14 detail in the written information. 14 overlapping or duplicating those efforts. We
15 VI. As Migdal Emunah is subject to inherent 15 respectfully suggest that such input would be of utmost
16 limitations in relation to some of the more sensitive 16 value to IICSA's investigation into sexual abuse within
17 matters that are likely to be raised in this inquiry and 17 the UK Jewish community.
18 with respect to, perhaps, some categories of potential 18 I trust that madam chair will consider this renewed
19 witnesses that may appear before the inquiry, we believe 19 application favourably on the basis that we have clearly
20 it is in the public interest for Kol v'Oz to be present 20 met the criteria of rule 5(2) of the Inquiry Rules for
21 alongside and complementary to Migdal Emunah to "fill 21 designation of a core participant, and it is very much
22 the gaps", particularly in those areas where Kol v'Oz 22 in the public interest for both Migdal Emunah and
23 has already played an independent role relating to 23 Kol v'Oz to work alongside each other in assisting this
24 incidents and issues specifically within the UK Jewish 24 inquiry to navigate some of the unique and often
25 community that are outside the usual scope of 25 well-hidden aspects encountered within the

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1 ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in relation to child 1 5 July 2019, the chair confirmed that she was minded to
2 sexual abuse, to ensure the true position emerges, so 2 decline the applicants, PR-A5 and PR-A6, core
3 that the inquiry is able, also with our respective input 3 participant status in this investigation on the basis
4 and experience, to make recommendations for meaningful 4 that they do not meet the criteria set out in
5 reforms. 5 rule 5(2)(a) and/or (b) of the Inquiry Rules.
6 Thank you. 6 The applicants submit that they are able to provide
7 THE CHAIR: Thank you, Mr Waks. 7 the inquiry with important evidence in relation to the
8 MS SCOLDING: Thank you, chair, I don't know whether now 8 themes that this investigation is examining, and that
9 would be the suitable time to maybe have a slightly 9 they do fall into the criteria set out in rule 5(2) of
10 abridged break of just ten minutes? 10 the Inquiry Rules.
11 THE CHAIR: Yes, we will do that, and return at 3.35 pm. 11 The applicants understand that the investigation
12 Thank you. 12 will not examine individual case studies of particular
13 (3.25 pm) 13 organisations as the focus is upon organisational
14 (A short break) 14 structures and child protection policies.
15 (3.35 pm) 15 The chair will be familiar with the factual
16 THE CHAIR: Mr Beale? 16 background of the applicants' own experience as
17 Submissions by MR BEALE 17 survivors of child sexual abuse, as this is
18 MR BEALE: Firstly, I would like to thank the chair for 18 well-rehearsed in the initial application.
19 giving me the opportunity to make oral submissions on 19 In summary, PR-A5 was the claimant in the case of A
20 behalf of applicants PR-A5, PR-A6 and PR-A9 in support 20 v Trustees of Watchtower Bible and Tract Society &
21 of their renewal application for core participant status 21 Others, which was the first claim in the UK where the
22 in this investigation. 22 Jehovah's Witnesses were held vicariously liable for
23 Firstly, I will deal with PR-A5 and PR-A6 jointly 23 child sexual abuse, a case in which I was part of the
24 before moving on to PR-A9. 24 legal team.
25 In the provisional notice of determination dated 25 PR-A6 was a member of the same congregation as

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1 PR-A5, and was abused by the same perpetrator as PR-A5 1 initial complaint led to PR-A5 suffering years of sexual
2 before PR-A5. The elders of the congregation were 2 abuse which could have been avoided.
3 informed that PR-A6 had been abused by the perpetrator, 3 In accordance with rule 5(2)(a) of the Inquiry
4 but their inadequate child protection policies, 4 Rules, the applicants played a direct and significant
5 practices and procedures, that I understand remain in 5 role in relation to the matters to which the inquiry
6 place today, resulted in them failing to take 6 relates and, in particular, the religious organisations'
7 appropriate action and led to PR-A6 suffering years of 7 responses to allegations of child sexual abuse,
8 abuse that could have been prevented. 8 including the provision of pastoral support to
9 This application is not submitted on the basis that 9 complainants, victims and survivors, as per
10 it be considered as an individual case study. Rather, 10 paragraph 9(a)(4) of the explanatory notes.
11 it is the applicant's experience that religious 11 Secondly, the applicants have a significant interest
12 organisations' responses in their cases are systemic of 12 in an important aspect of the matters to which the
13 the way in which religious organisations, and in 13 inquiry relates. In particular, whether there needs to
14 particular the Jehovah's Witnesses, respond to 14 be additional and/or different practices and processes
15 allegations of child sexual abuse, including the 15 of oversight to ensure that children are protected from
16 provision of pastoral support to complainants, victims 16 child sexual abuse within religious organisations and
17 and survivors, a theme which this investigation will 17 settings, as per paragraph 9(d) of the explanatory note
18 examine as per paragraph 9(a)(4) of the updated note, 18 dated April 2019.
19 dated April 2019. 19 Again, although the applicants understand that the
20 The applicants are in a unique position to assist 20 investigation will be thematic in nature and will not be
21 the inquiry on common issues across religious 21 examining individual case studies, given that, in their
22 organisations, particularly the common issues relating 22 experiences, the responses by the religious organisation
23 to Jehovah's Witnesses and how they can be overcome. 23 in their cases are systemic of the way in which the
24 Indeed, in the applicants' cases, the religious 24 Jehovah's Witnesses and other religious organisations
25 organisation's failure to respond adequately to PR-A6's 25 respond to allegations of child sexual abuse, the

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1 applicants are able to provide crucial evidence to the 1 inquiry with specific evidence on the current child
2 inquiry's examination of the nature and adequacy of 2 protection policies, practices and procedures of
3 current child protection policies, practices and 3 Jehovah's Witnesses and how they are applied in practice
4 procedures within the Jehovah's Witnesses and religious 4 including, but not limited to, the impact on survivors
5 organisations within England and Wales as per 5 which the inquiry will need to examine in order to be
6 paragraph 4 of the explanatory note. This will assist 6 able to fully consider common issues across religious
7 the inquiry in considering how religious organisations 7 organisations and settings and how they can be met and
8 are structured and the policies and practices in place. 8 overcome.
9 The applicants can give evidence on what policies 9 Finally, in my own experience, having acted for
10 and procedures are in place and how these fail to 10 these two applicants and many other survivors of abuse
11 protect them, allowing the inquiry to consider how they 11 within the Jehovah's Witnesses and other religious
12 can be met and overcome. In addition, the applicants 12 organisations generally, given the Jehovah's Witnesses'
13 will be able to provide the inquiry with important 13 reluctance to renew their child protection policies
14 evidence in relation to religious organisations' 14 previously and engage in open discussion about how these
15 training and the understanding of child sexual abuse. 15 can be improved, I share the applicants' concern that,
16 The Jehovah's Witnesses are unique in their 16 if they are refused core participant status in this
17 organisation and structure and in how they respond to 17 investigation, the inquiry will have limited evidence
18 allegations of child sexual abuse. I would refer the 18 about the relevant religious organisations which the
19 chair to the initial application which sets out the 19 inquiry needs to hear properly and fully to examine the
20 Jehovah's Witnesses' current child protection policies 20 themes covered by this investigation.
21 practices and procedures, such as judicial committees, 21 In light of these submissions and the applicants'
22 the two witness rule, shunning and forcing survivors to 22 renewed application, I would invite the chair to
23 confront their abuser. 23 reconsider the applicants for core participant status.
24 Whilst the inquiry is not seeking to examine 24 I am now moving on to PR-A9.
25 individual cases, the applicants are able to provide the 25 Again, I would like to thank the chair and the panel

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1 for giving me the opportunity to make oral submissions 1 a direct and significant role in relation to the matters
2 on the applicant's behalf. Again, in the provisional 2 to which the inquiry relates, in particular the themes
3 notice of determination, dated 5 July, the chair 3 set out in paragraph 9 of the explanatory note: namely,
4 confirmed that she was minded to decline the applicant 4 training in the understanding of child sexual abuse
5 core participant status in this investigation on the 5 policies and procedures; the arrangements in place to
6 basis that he did not meet the criteria set out in 6 respond to allegations of child sexual abuse, including
7 rule 5(2)(a) or (b). 7 the provision of pastoral support; internal processes
8 Again, as set out in the explanatory note 8 for auditing, inspection or oversight of the child
9 dated April 2019, this investigation will not examine 9 protection practices and procedures.
10 individual case studies or particular organisations, but 10 The applicant was a very senior member of
11 will focus on organisational structures and child 11 a religious organisation -- in his case, the Jehovah's
12 protection policies. 12 Witnesses -- for many years, holding a position of
13 This application is not submitted on the basis that 13 authority and dealing first hand with religious
14 it be considered as an individual case study, the 14 organisations, child protection policies, practices,
15 applicant understands that the investigation will be 15 procedures and responses to allegations of child sexual
16 thematic in nature and will not be considering 16 abuse, including the provision of pastoral support to
17 individual cases. The applicant is not only able to 17 complainants, victims and survivors.
18 provide helpful evidence on organisational structures 18 The applicant was a member of the Jehovah's
19 and child protection policies, but played both a direct 19 Witnesses for over 50 years, being brought up in the
20 and significant role in relation to the matters to which 20 organisation from age 5. For over 30 years, the
21 this inquiry relates and has significant interest in an 21 applicant served as a ministerial servant, and later an
22 important aspect of the matter to which the inquiry 22 elder, within the organisation, taking the lead within
23 relates. 23 several congregations, having oversight of the teachings
24 Taking those in turn, first, in accordance with 24 that had to be propounded to the members. The applicant
25 rule 5(2) of the Inquiry Rules, the applicants played 25 was promoted to a higher responsibility, eventually

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1 taking part in teaching schools, lecturing to large 1 within a religious organisation, but also, as a father
2 groups, including thousands at stadiums, and taking the 2 of a victim, the applicant has participated in the
3 lead in teaching other elders. 3 internal workings and decision making within a religious
4 The applicant can testify that he was in attendance 4 organisation that has excluded any police or local
5 when elders were told not to report matters of child 5 authority involvement.
6 sexual abuse to any police or social services. This 6 Now turning to rule 5(2)(b) of the Inquiry Rules,
7 became the required position for all elders, with 7 the applicant has a significant interest in the
8 specific instructions only to call the Bethel, the UK 8 important aspect of the matters to which this inquiry
9 headquarters located in London. 9 relates. In particular, whether there needs to be
10 The applicant has personally attended meetings at 10 additional and/or different practices, processes or
11 the Bethel and London headquarters and has engaged in 11 oversight to ensure that children are protected from
12 internal judicial meetings where matters considered 12 child sexual abuse within religious organisations and
13 a spiritual sin, but, in fact, were a crime, were dealt 13 settings as per paragraph 9(d) of the explanatory notes.
14 with and no reporting to the authorities was authorised. 14 The applicant has personal experience of the
15 The applicant has, over the years, read all of the 15 emotional trauma that child sexual abuse has on
16 internal, but private, letters sent to elders, directing 16 individuals and is now taking a leading role in
17 them to handle matters within the congregation and not 17 supporting and helping many ex-Jehovah's Witnesses
18 to go outside. 18 overcome their difficulties. The applicant is in touch
19 The applicant has also seen, read and sent to the 19 with hundreds who have been victims within the religion
20 inquiry already written directions from Jehovah's 20 and can testify to the enormity of the problem that the
21 Witness headquarters for local elders to destroy 21 religious organisation fails to recognise and address.
22 documents and private notes relating to judicial 22 The applicant will be able to convey to the inquiry
23 meetings, many of those being confessions or decisions 23 the personal testimony told to him by victims and the
24 involving child sexual abuse. 24 first-hand experience of religious organisations'
25 The applicant has experienced child abuse himself 25 non-cooperation in assisting police with inquiries.

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1 In the applicant's experience, not only does 1 Again, the Jehovah's Witnesses are unique in their
2 the religious organisation fail to report abuse, but 2 structure and organisation and how they respond to
3 they do not support the victim when he or she takes the 3 allegations of child sexual abuse. As before, I would
4 initiative and contacts the appropriate authority. The 4 refer the chair to the initial application which sets
5 applicant has attended court cases where the religious 5 out the Jehovah's Witness' current child protection
6 organisation's support has even been shown to the abuser 6 policies, practices and procedures, such as judicial
7 and not the victim. 7 committees, the two witness rule, shunning and forcing
8 The applicant's own experience has been that victims 8 survivors to confront their abuser.
9 who have taken the step to involve authorities have 9 As with the other applicants, the applicant is able
10 themselves been dealt with harshly by the religious 10 to provide the inquiry with specific evidence on what --
11 organisations, sometimes being disfellowshipped -- 11 current child protection policies, practices and
12 a total shunning by friends, family and congregation. 12 procedures of the Jehovah's Witnesses, which the inquiry
13 The applicant's own two daughters were disfellowshipped, 13 will need to examine in order to be able to fully
14 so he can testify to the inquiry how this action 14 consider common issues across religious organisations
15 compounds an already broken spirit of a child abuse 15 and settings and how they can be met and overcome.
16 victim. 16 Finally, in my own experience, having acted for many
17 The applicant is in a unique position to assist the 17 survivors of abuse within the Jehovah's Witnesses and
18 inquiry on common issues across religious organisations 18 other religious organisations generally, and given the
19 and settings and how they can be overcome. 19 Jehovah's Witnesses' reluctance to renew their child
20 The applicant is able to provide crucial evidence to 20 protection policies, I share the applicant's concern
21 the inquiry's examination of the nature and adequacy of 21 that, if he is refused core participant status, the
22 child protection policies, practices and procedures 22 inquiry will have limited evidence about the relevant
23 within religious organisations and settings within 23 religious organisation which the inquiry needs to hear
24 England and Wales, as per paragraph 4 of the explanatory 24 to properly and fully examine themes covered by the
25 note. 25 investigation.

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1 In the light of those submissions and the 1 Advocates Opposing Crimes Against Children, and then
2 applicant's renewed application, I would invite the 2 Mr Brady will speak for five minutes on behalf of the
3 chair to reconsider the applicant for core participant. 3 Jehovah's Witness organisation.
4 THE CHAIR: Thank you, Mr Beale. 4 Before they do so, I just make two points. Firstly,
5 Thanks to all of you who have made submissions on 5 I remind you, chair, that this investigation scope is
6 renewals. I will, of course, give careful thought to 6 about the management of child protection across a number
7 these and you will be informed of my decision in 7 of religious organisations, it is not meant to be a case
8 writing, in due course. 8 study about a particular religious organisation or
9 MS SCOLDING: Chair, just before we pass over to Mr Barker 9 grouping.
10 and Mr Brady, I just wanted to identify to everyone that 10 I also wish to clarify one particular issue, which
11 we are now passing over to submissions which have been 11 is raised by the Jehovah's Witnesses within their
12 circulated to all core participants, firstly, by the 12 submissions. They identify, at paragraph 13, that an
13 Ex-JW Advocates Opposing Crimes Against Children and 13 email that we sent to them on 14 January 2016 indicated
14 just to identify, their submissions identify, firstly, 14 that this inquiry were content with the explanation
15 to ask to refer the preliminary hearing to make further 15 given by the Jehovah's Witnesses at that time.
16 submissions in respect of scope. 16 If I could just identify and read out, in fact, what
17 Secondly, in respect of asking, in effect, for 17 the email said was:
18 a specific investigation or a more detailed 18 "I am grateful for your confirmation that your
19 investigation in respect of the Jehovah's Witnesses in 19 organisation is complying with the terms of the
20 the UK. 20 Inquiries Act 2005. I note you do not believe you
21 Thirdly, to ask the inquiry to consider whether or 21 received a copy of the chair's letter, dated
22 not the Jehovah's Witnesses have acted in line with the 22 23 June 2015, but hope that you will now carefully
23 retention notice which the inquiry issued in 2015. 23 consider its contents."
24 I would simply remind you, Mr Barker will speak for 24 That letter of 23 June being the letter which
25 five minutes on that topic on behalf of the Ex-JW 25 identified that records should be kept.

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1 Counsel to the inquiry's submission is that that 1 in full, are circulated to all core participants prior
2 particular email says nothing about whether it 2 to that further preliminary hearing, so that submissions
3 considered there was, or was not, compliance, simply 3 can be made on the adequacy of those witness statements
4 what the Jehovah's Witnesses' view was of their 4 and on whom should be called to give oral evidence, as
5 compliance with that particular section. 5 it would clearly be a relevant point for my clients to
6 Unless there's anything further, I now pass over to 6 make submissions in relation to.
7 Mr Barker, thank you . 7 I will, however, deal with my next two points
8 Submissions by MR BARKER 8 quickly -- I am mindful of the time -- the first being
9 MR BARKER: Thank you, Ms Scolding. Thank you, chair. 9 that the inquiry ought to investigate Jehovah's
10 These submissions are made by Hugh James on behalf 10 Witnesses here in the UK by way of a specific case study
11 of Ex-JW Advocates Opposing Crimes Against Children, 11 or by way of specific oral evidence; second, that the
12 which I will refer to as "the group" in these 12 inquiry ought to investigate a document entitled "2015
13 submissions, for ease of reference. 13 Checklist for Audit of File".
14 The group comprises survivors of sexual abuse from 14 Turning briefly to the scope of the hearings, the
15 Jehovah's Witnesses within the UK, former elders from 15 group submits that practices such as the two witness
16 congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses within the UK and 16 rule, spiritual investigations, judicial committees and
17 former Jehovah's Witness members who provide support 17 shunning, all of which are particular to Jehovah's
18 services to survivors of sexual abuse from within 18 Witnesses as an institution, are barriers to effective
19 Jehovah's Witnesses. 19 and proper safeguarding of children against the risk of
20 First of all, I am grateful for Ms Scolding 20 sexual abuse.
21 confirming that there will be a further preliminary 21 This is based not only on the experiences of those
22 hearing in January 2020. That will hopefully somewhat 22 who comprise the group and who are survivors of sexual
23 truncate my submissions today but, nevertheless, I will 23 abuse within Jehovah's Witnesses in the UK, but also on
24 make the point that, in our view, it is absolutely 24 the findings of other similar inquiries, such as the
25 essential that the draft statements, or the statements 25 Australian Royal Commission's detailed case study into

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1 Jehovah's Witnesses in Australia, which we submit is 1 addressed the point in response in their submissions, as
2 highly relevant to these hearings. 2 referred to before, and have noted that this issue was
3 It is therefore submitted that simply a thematic 3 resolved to the inquiry's satisfaction in 2016. The
4 focus is unable to capture the true impact of these 4 CCJW has submitted in those submissions that the
5 practices and a more direct examination of Jehovah's 5 checklist requirement to discard personal data did not
6 Witnesses as a religious institution is necessary to 6 apply to allegations of child sexual abuse.
7 fulfil the inquiry's mandate to effect changes to 7 To this end, I have, this morning, been able to take
8 protect children from the risk of sexual abuse in 8 instructions from a member of the group who was a former
9 non-state institutions. 9 Jehovah's Witness elder and most relevantly served as
10 Finally, the group raised an issue in respect of the 10 a congregation coordinator in the UK, coordination
11 2015 document entitled "Checklist for Audit for File" 11 coordinators being responsible for things like those
12 which my friend Richard Scorer referred to today as 12 complying with the checklist. After speaking with him
13 well. That 2015 document instructs elders to destroy 13 today, I quote:
14 from their personal files, by 31 December 2015, all 14 "During my tenure, the UK branch officer of
15 agendas and minutes of elders' meetings, all personal 15 Jehovah's Witnesses regularly instructed and enforced
16 notes taken at elders' meetings and any other personal 16 the destruction of documents held by elders in local
17 records, notes or correspondence that refer to 17 congregations, some of which contained evidence of
18 particular individuals. 18 crimes unreported to the authorities and some of which
19 Given the wording of this checklist and the 19 related to crimes of which the authorities were already
20 unequivocal wording of the retention notice circulated 20 aware."
21 by the inquiry, the group understandably had concerns 21 He has confirmed that this included references to
22 about the checklist itself and whether it was 22 child sexual abuse and personal notes of which he saw,
23 subsequently amended to ensure compliance with the 23 and this is contrary to the submissions lodged by CCJW
24 inquiry's retention notice. 24 last night.
25 The CCJW, as I will refer to them today, had 25 Quite clearly, this is inconsistent with that

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1 position and, further, it goes to an important issue 1 worldwide internet, it's been published in
2 which ought to be dealt with by the inquiry prior to the 2 the March 2019 issue of The Watchtower study by
3 primary hearings and, I would say, at the later 3 congregations worldwide. The point my clients would
4 preliminary hearing, or indeed earlier, in relation to 4 like to make, or the Christian Congregation would like
5 disclosure and the retention notice and compliance with 5 to make, is that their safeguarding policy is well
6 that retention notice. 6 known. Mr Barker appears to confuse or blend two
7 The group strongly submits that the inquiry still 7 different issues.
8 needs to look into this issue and, given what was said 8 One is how Jehovah's Witnesses deal with
9 today by Ms Scolding, we would say it's far from 9 safeguarding issues, how they protect children, and,
10 resolved. The group looks forward to hearing from the 10 secondly, how they deal with when -- cases of sin, once
11 inquiry in respect of these submissions. Thank you. 11 safeguarding has been cared for.
12 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Mr Brady, you have five minutes. 12 The two witness rule, as you have heard, judicial
13 Submissions by MR BRADY 13 committees, that's all about the second part, is once
14 MR BRADY: Thank you, chair, and members of the panel. 14 a child has been protected, how does -- should that
15 The Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses 15 person remain within the congregation or not?
16 looks forward to the opportunity to participate in this 16 As far as the scope of the inquiry, Ms Scolding has
17 investigation and to provide accurate information in 17 already set out in detail, and we appreciate the
18 response to the issues within the scope of the inquiry. 18 explanation of what the investigation will look at, the
19 For the sake of time, I rely on the written 19 lines of enquiry, the lines of investigation, and we
20 materials that I provided to the inquiry yesterday and 20 submit, sure, that that deals with any issues, any
21 I would like to just emphasise two or three points, if 21 questions, that Mr Barker and his clients may have.
22 I may, in response to some of the submissions. 22 It will be adequately addressed by the scope of the
23 As far as the protection -- the safeguarding policy 23 investigation as it is. Case studies will not
24 of Jehovah's Witnesses, I would like to underscore that, 24 materially contribute to that. It's looking -- case
25 Jehovah's Witnesses, their policy is available on their 25 studies are looking retrospectively, not at the current

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1 situation and not looking forward. In fairness, of 1 Destroy' and kept indefinitely."
2 course, if there were to be case studies, it should look 2 That's been the position of Jehovah's Witnesses for
3 at all religions that are presently before this 3 many years. The 2015 checklist was simply something
4 investigation. 4 that Jehovah's Witnesses have been using for a number of
5 Finally, on the question of the 2015 checklist, 5 years in response to Data Protection requirements. But
6 chair, if I may draw you to paragraph 12 of my 6 it was quite clear in the letter, and in the checklist
7 submissions -- and I think this might help to clarify 7 itself, it does not apply to material for child
8 matters for the panel. Paragraph 12 quotes a letter 8 protection matters or where there are allegations proved
9 that was written to the inquiry, which in itself quotes 9 or otherwise of child abuse.
10 a textbook for elders on how to deal with documents. 10 I hope those comments are helpful to yourself,
11 If I may, I would just like to read two paragraphs in 11 chair, and the panel, as consideration is given to
12 their entirety that's quoted in paragraph 12. The 12 Mr Barker's submissions. Thank you.
13 letter to the inquiry says: 13 THE CHAIR: Mr Brady, thank you.
14 "However, with specific reference to child abuse 14 MS SCOLDING: Chair, I did ask everybody beforehand whether
15 matters, which would naturally call into question 15 or not they wanted to say anything. Obviously, if the
16 a person's standing as one of Jehovah's Witnesses, 16 spirit moves anyone, then obviously we are happy to hear
17 elders are instructed to retain any necessary relevant 17 any further submissions, but nobody identified they
18 documents, if there are any, indefinitely." 18 wanted any. I am just casting my eye around the room.
19 And importantly: 19 No. Chair, I think there are no further submissions
20 "This direction to elders is contained in the 20 from me, thank you.
21 elders' manual, 'Shepherd the Flock of God' ..." 21 THE CHAIR: Thank you, Ms Scolding. If that's the case,
22 And the next paragraph quotes from that verbatim: 22 then I want to thank everybody again for attending
23 "Information concerning an individual accused of 23 today, and particularly to those who have had to travel
24 child molestation, proved or otherwise, should be placed 24 some distance to get here.
25 in congregation's confidential file and marked 'Do Not 25 I note that while some of you have been legally

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1 represented today, a number have not been and, like 1 Submissions by MR BRADY .............................79
2 Ms Scolding, I would encourage core participants to 2
3 consider obtaining representation for the next phase of 3
4 the inquiry's work and for jointly instructing a legal 4
5 representative where appropriate. 5
6 Ms Scolding has already set out the process by which 6
7 decisions around funding for such representation are 7
8 made by the inquiry under section 40 of the 8
9 Inquiries Act 2005. 9
10 Thank you all for your very helpful submissions. 10
11 I am especially grateful to all of you and for what you
11
12 have contributed today. That concludes this preliminary
12
13 hearing. Thank you.
13
14 (4.03 pm)
14
15 (The hearing concluded)
15
16
16
17
17
18 INDEX
19
18
Welcome and opening remarks by THE ...................1 19
20 CHAIR 20
21 Opening remarks by MS SCOLDING .......................2 21
22 Submissions by MR SCORER ............................45 22
23 Submissions by MR WAKS ..............................49 23
24 Submissions by MR BEALE .............................61 24
25 Submissions by MR BARKER ............................75 25

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A 19:22 63:1,3 adequacy 65:2 agreed 33:12 apologise 31:15


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abused 13:8 14:5 54:4 59:2 agendas 77:15 anonymous 38:23 appropriate 9:24
15:16,19 17:13 adduced 27:2 ago 53:25 39:2 28:6 36:25 57:25

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63:7 71:4 83:5 33:10 49:7,19 73:9,24 better 47:1 41:18 69:8 81:15
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