The terms of reference and a chair for a public inquiry into the handling of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Scotland were announced by Scottish Ministers on 14 December 2021.
On 3 October 2022 the resignation of the Hon. Lady Poole as chair was announced. The Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Covid Recovery wrote to the Presiding Officer to confirm this. On 27 October 2022 the Deputy First Minister announced the appointment of the Hon. Lord Brailsford as chair.
This is a statutory inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005. Find out more, including how to contact the Inquiry, at the inquiry website.
What the inquiry will do
The Inquiry works independently of government.
It will provide scrutiny of and learn lessons from the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in Scotland, to ensure that Scotland is as prepared as possible for future pandemics.
The inquiry will follow terms of reference set by the Scottish Government. These cover 12 areas of investigation, each covering a strategic element of the handling of the pandemic.
In investigating these 12 strategic elements, the terms of reference further ask the chair to consider the impacts of handling of the pandemic on the exercise of human rights and to create a factual record of the key strategic elements of the handling of the pandemic.
The terms of reference were informed by public engagement and were subject to a period of reflection by the Chair, who was able to suggest adjustments. Revised terms of reference were published on 9 June 2022.
Scottish Ministers have fixed the setting-up date for the Scottish COVID-19 Inquiry as 28 February 2022 following discussion with the Chair, the Hon. Lady Poole.
The setting-up date is a requirement of the 2005 Inquiries Act, whereby Ministers must specify the date that is to be the setting-up date for the inquiry for the purposes of the legislation. A public inquiry cannot consider evidence in advance of its setting-up date.
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