The Panel’s remit

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

BACKGROUND

Q: When was the Independent Panel set up?
The Panel was announced by the Home Secretary in a Written Ministerial Statement on 10 May 2013.

Q: Why was the Panel set up?
The Metropolitan Police (MPS) indicated that there was no likelihood of any successful prosecutions for the murder of Daniel Morgan being brought in the foreseeable future, admitting that police corruption was a “debilitating factor” in the original investigation. This led to calls for an inquiry from the members of Daniel Morgan’s family who had waged a long campaign for those responsible for his murder to be brought to justice.

The Home Secretary met with the members of Daniel Morgan’s family and, after further serious consideration with them and their representatives, announced the creation of the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel.

Q: What were the Panel’s Terms of Reference?
Follow this link to see the Panel’s Terms of Reference.

Q: Was the Panel independent?
Yes. The Panel worked independently from the Government and its agencies, the Police and the members of Daniel Morgan’s family.

Q: Was this an investigation into Daniel Morgan’s murder?
No. The Panel was not been tasked to investigate or reinvestigate the murder of Daniel Morgan nor to build a new criminal case to be brought before the Courts.

Q: Why did the work of the Panel extend over such a long period?
A number of events occurred during 2016-2017, including the hearing at the start of 2017 of a civil action by Mr Jonathan Rees and others against the Metropolitan Police Service. A trial was held and findings made by the Judge in favour of Mr Sidney Fillery. A successful appeal by Mr Rees and others to the Court of Appeal followed in 2018. As a consequence, additional documentation was received by the Panel during 2017 and 2018, which had to be considered in depth. In addition to this, further significant documentation was received up to and including 2021 which was relevant to the Panel’s terms of reference. This material also had to be carefully considered by the Panel which delayed the publication of its Report.

Q: The Panel started writing its Report in mid-2016 with a view to publishing it in 2017.   What happened to add further time to the process?
The Panel’s terms of reference anticipated it would take about twelve months from the start of substantive work on the papers, once all documentation had been made available, to being in a position to submit its Report to the Home Secretary. However, apart from a very small amount of documentation, the material requiring to be analysed was not made available to the Panel by the Metropolitan Police Service and others until after January 2015, some sixteen months after Panel members were appointed. The Panel was, therefore, only able to begin its substantive work at that stage. A large amount of material gathered over the previous 33 years had to be very carefully scrutinised. Even in 2021 further new material requiring consideration was submitted further delaying the Report’s publication.

Q: What steps did the Panel take in the lead-up to its Report’s publication?
The completed draft report was subjected to a final legal review in the summer of 2020 when the Panel also started its Fairness Process in which its solicitors wrote to individuals and organisations, giving them notice that they were likely to be criticised in the report, giving them an opportunity to comment before the report was published. Once the Fairness Process was complete, further checks and preparation were undertaken to have the final Report ready for publication.

Q: How much did the Panel spend?
The costs of the Panel’s work are published in a separate section on the website.

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THE WORK OF THE PANEL

Q: What was the Panel tasked to do?
The purpose and remit of the Independent Panel was to shine a light on the circumstances of Daniel Morgan’s murder, its background and the handling of the case over the whole period since March 1987. In doing so, the Panel sought to address questions arising, including those relating to:

    • police involvement in the murder;
    • the role played by police corruption in protecting those responsible for the murder from being brought to justice and the failure to confront that corruption; and
    • the incidence of connections between private investigators, police officers and journalists at the News of the World and other parts of the media and alleged corruption involved in the linkages between them.

Q: How did it do this?
In order to achieve this the Panel:

(a) engaged with members of the family and took their views into account at all stages in relation to the methodology and results of its work;
(b) obtained and examined all relevant documentation from all relevant bodies, governmental and non-governmental alike, including but not limited to papers held by:

    • The Metropolitan Police;
    • The Hampshire Constabulary;
    • The Crown Prosecution Service and the Attorney General’s Office;
    • The Police Complaints Authority (as it was then);
    • The Independent Police Complaints Commission;
    • Southwark Coroner’s Court; and
    • The Home Office.

(c) interviewed and received relevant information from individuals who were willing to provide that information;
(d) briefed members of the family through its Report which was made available first to the family, the Home Secretary and Parliament and published on this website;
(e) explained in its final report what the relevant documentation and information revealed about the nature and extent of police corruption in relation to the handling of this case; and
(f) made recommendations as a result of its work, including recommendations for further investigation or inquiry.

Q: What were the Panel’s guiding principles?
The principles the Panel’s work was based on were:

(a) an effective participation of the family at all stages of the Panel’s work including genuine and full consultation and briefing throughout the process and payment of legal costs incurred on behalf of the family to this end;
(b) “the family first” principle in terms of the release of the Panel’s findings and its Report;
(c) exceptional and full disclosure to the Panel of all relevant documentation including that held by all relevant Government departments and agencies and by the police and other investigative and prosecuting authorities; and
(d) maximum possible disclosure of documentation and information by the Panel to the family.

Q: Did the Panel hold any hearings?
No.  It reached its conclusions based on an analysis of relevant documentation followed where necessary by interviews. The Panel did make any material public until its Report was published.

Q: How did the Panel carry out its work?
There were three main stages to the work of the Panel:

    • Firstly, it was necessary to identify relevant documentation and other sources of information;
    • Secondly, the Panel conducted a rigorous, evidence-based analysis of the information; and
    • The third and final stage was writing its report.

Q: How much material was considered?
It is estimated the Panel scrutinised some 110,000 documents, amounting to more than a million pages, plus a very substantial amount of additional sensitive or secret material held by the Metropolitan Police and other organisations.

Q: How may I submit a request for information relating to the work of the Panel under the Freedom of Information Act?
If you wish to make a request for access to information about the Panel or its work under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, please contact the Home Office (public.enquiries@homeoffice.gov.uk).

PANEL MEMBERS

Q: Who were the Panel Members?
The Panel Members were:

Q: Who assisted the Panel?
The Panel was assisted by a team of people, including:

    • Counsel to the Panel – who provided legal advice to the Panel’s Members.
    • The Solicitor to the Panel – who administered the legal functions of the Panel.
    • A Secretariat – which was responsible for administering all the non-legal aspects of the Panel’s work (e.g. finance, accommodation, security, personnel, media and the website).
    • A Research team – which was responsible for identifying and analysing relevant documentation.

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