What is the purpose of the Inquiry?

The purpose of the Inquiry is to understand what happened at Brook House IRC, to identify learning and to make recommendations that would help to prevent a recurrence of such events.

What does mistreatment mean?

For the purposes of the Inquiry, ‘mistreatment’ is interpreted to mean treatment contrary to Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, namely torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Independent of government

The Inquiry is an independent statutory inquiry examining events at Brook House IRC between 1 April  2017 and 31 August 2017.

  • Being independent means the Inquiry is not part of government and not run by a government department;
  • Being statutory means the Inquiry was converted from an existing investigation to an Inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005 and has the power to compel witnesses to give evidence and produce documents.

Core Participant Status for Medical Justice

Core participants can include organisations with a significant interest in an important aspect of the matters to which the Inquiry relates. Core participants may participate in the Inquiry in a number of ways:

  • Receiving in advance of hearings disclosure of evidence which the Chair considers relevant to that core participant;
  • Making an opening and closing statement at certain hearings;
  • Suggesting lines of questioning to be pursued by Counsel to the Inquiry;

Additionally, Medical Justice has provided input regarding ;

  • Scope of the Inquiry
  • Appointment of Experts to the Inquiry
  • Appointment of Counsel to the inquiry
  • Who should be called as witnesses

Powers to compel witnesses

The Chair of the Inquiry has the power to issue a notice requiring a person to attend and give evidence. Failure to comply with any such notice is a criminal offence under section 35 of the Inquiries Act 2005, and in the event of non-compliance the Chair will take such steps and/or measures that are considered to be necessary to secure compliance.

Useful information and links

BBC Panorama programme
You can watch “Under-Cover: Britain’s Immigration Secrets”, aired on 4 September 2017, here

About the hearings
Location of hearings and timings information is here

Document library
Download all Inquiry related documents here

People who were detained at Brook House IRC can still submit evidence
Information about Witness Support is here. Ways to contact the Inquiry are detailed here.

Core Participants
Medical Justice is a Core Participant.  A list of all Core Participants, as of 3rd March 2022, is here.

The Inquiry team
Details about Chair and the rest of the Inquiry’s team is here.