Two men, MA and BB, who had been detained at Brook House IRC and who featured in Panorama, later brought a judicial review arguing that an independent public enquiry with the power to compel and question witnesses is necessary to get to the truth so that lessons will be learnt as required for the UK to comply with its obligations under Article 3.

June 2019 : The judge in BB and MA’s judicial review held that the Home Office was failing to meet its duties to hold an effective investigation ; the investigation would need powers to compel witnesses, that a “significant public scrutiny of the PPO’s Special Investigation will be required”. The judgement described the “The egregious nature of the breaches, the multiplicity and regularity of the abusive events and the openness of the activity within the units…repeated events, in front of others, where the perpetrators were managers and trainers, as well as ordinary officers….”.

November 2019 : The Home Secretary announced that the PPO’s investigation of Brook House is converted to a statutory inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005.  Sue McAllister, the PPO, had appointed Kate Eves to lead their special investigation into Brook House. Following conversion of the special investigation into an inquiry, Kate Eves took up the position of inquiry chair.

April 2020 : Chair’s opening statement and call for evidence

October 2020: Medical Justice granted Core Participant status

January 2021 : Chair’s determination on the Scope of the Inquiry

April 2021 : Due to the Covid pandemic, hearings were rescheduled to commence in November 2021

August 2021 : The Inquiry Chair accepts a limited undertaking to the effect that any evidence given by a formerly detained person to the Inquiry will not be used by the Secretary of State for the Home Department to support certain adverse immigration decisions.

November 2021 : First set of public hearings

February 2022 : Second set of public hearings

Closing submissions : See the listings here


The Inquiry has received approximately 40,000 documents, amounting to around about 250,000 pages of material and is continuing the process of reviewing, assessing relevance, and applying appropriate redactions to documents in accordance with the Inquiry’s redaction protocol. The Inquiry is making disclosure to Core Participants on a regular basis and to date has disclosed over 18,400 pages of material to Core Participants.