Evidence hearings schedule
The Inquiry will consider the undercover policing activities of officers and managers and those affected by deployments in Tranches ordered chronologically.
Evidence hearings for Tranche 1 are due to start in November 2020 and will focus on officers and managers in the SDS active between 1968 and 1982. This Tranche will also include evidence from non-state core participants and witnesses affected by these officers’ deployment.
The Inquiry has split hearings for Tranche 1 into three phases. In phase 1, the Inquiry will hear from undercover officers and non-state witnesses about the SDS – which was initially called the Special Operations Squad – between July 1968 and the end of 1972 approximately. Opening statements and phase 1 evidence hearings will run from Monday 2 November to Friday 20 November. In phase 2, the Inquiry will hear from undercover officers and non-state witnesses about the SDS between 1973 and 1982. These evidence hearings are expected to start in March or April 2021. In phase 3 evidence hearings, the Inquiry will hear from SDS managers (1968-1982). Dates for phase 3 will be announced in due course.
Conduct of Tranche 1 evidence hearings
Due to the social distancing measures expected to be in place and the fact that many of the proposed witnesses fall into a higher risk group, the hearings in November will be virtual and conducted remotely.
The hearings will start on Monday 2 November with seven days of opening statements. Opening statements given live will be live-streamed on the Inquiry website. Recorded and written opening statements will also be published on the Inquiry website. The evidence hearings will be live-streamed – in real-time – to the Amba Hotel Marble Arch in London, which is open to core participants, the media and the general public.
Registration for the attending the Amba Hotel Marble Arch has now closed.
A live transcript of the evidence hearings in November will be available on the Inquiry website with a 10-minute delay. On the day of a hearing, you will be able to view the live transcript by clicking on the title of the relevant hearing day below. This will allow you to follow proceedings in near real-time without having to attend the Amba Hotel.
Hearings for phase 2 of Tranche 1 are expected to have similar arrangements to phase 1. However, the arrangements for Tranche 1 are not intended to be a template for future Tranches.
Further information on the evidence hearings can be found in the Inquiry’s ninth update note and the Chairman’s second statement about the conduct of tranche 1 evidence hearings.