I am today informing the House that, following consultation with the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, the Rt Hon Lady Justice Hallett DBE has been appointed to conduct an independent review of the administrative scheme to deal with so-called ‘on-the-runs’ (OTRs).
On Tuesday 25 February and on Friday 28 February I laid before the House statements relating to the decision of Mr Justice Sweeney, sitting in the Crown Court, in the case of John Downey.
In light of the error identified in the case of John Downey, the Prime Minister announced on Thursday 27 February that he would appoint a judge to provide an independent review of the administrative scheme.
The terms of reference of the review are:
- to produce a full public account of the operation and extent of the administrative scheme for OTRs
- to determine whether any letters sent through the scheme contained errors
- to make recommendations as necessary on this or related matters that are drawn to the attention of the inquiry
Lady Justice Hallett is asked to make every effort to meet the timetable of conducting the inquiry and reporting to me by the end of May 2014, for the purpose of its full publication. In any event, the review will conclude by the end of June 2014.