Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
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 a decision taken to set up the Panel?
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 have 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 are the Panel’s Terms of Reference?
Follow this link to see the Panel’s Terms of Reference.
Q: Is the Panel independent?
Yes. The Panel is working independently from the Government and its agencies, the Police and the members of Daniel Morgan’s family.
Q: Is this an investigation into Daniel Morgan’s murder?
No. The Panel has 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 has the work of the Panel extended 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 has been received up to and including this year which is important to the Panel’s terms of reference. This material has had to be carefully considered by the Panel and has inevitably delayed its report. However, the Panel now intends to present its report to the Home Secretary in Spring 2021 for publication in Parliament.
Q: The Panel started writing its report in mid-2016 with a view to publishing in 2017. What’s happened in the meantime that’s added yet 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 past 33 years has had to be very carefully scrutinised. Even this year further new material requiring consideration was submitted and this has inevitably delayed the report.
Q: What steps is the Panel taking in the lead up to the report’s publication?
The completed draft report will be subject to a final legal review in summer 2020 and the Panel has also started its Fairness Process in which its solicitors write to individuals and organisations to give them notice that they are likely to be criticised in the report and to give them an opportunity to comment before the report is published. Once the Fairness Process is completed, there will be further checks and preparation undertaken to have the final report ready for publication in Spring 2021.
Q: How much has the Panel spent to date?
The costs of the Panel’s work for the financial years 2013-14 through to 2019-20 are published in a separate section on the website.
THE WORK OF THE PANEL
Q: What has the Panel been tasked with doing?
The purpose and remit of the Independent Panel is 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 has sought to address the 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 is it doing this?
In order to achieve this purpose, the Independent Panel is:
(a) engaging with members of the family and take their views into account at all stages in relation to the methodology of its work and the results of its work;
(b) obtaining and examining 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) interviewing and receiving relevant information from individuals who are willing to provide that information;
(d) briefing members of the family through a final report which would be made available first to the family and then to the public at large;
(e) it will explain in its final report what the relevant documentation and information reveal about the nature and extent of police corruption in relation to the handling of this case; and
(f) make any recommendations which the Panel concludes should be made as a result of its work, including recommendations for any further investigation or inquiry.
Q: What are the Panel’s guiding principles?
The principles of the Independent Panel’s work are:
(a) full, genuine and 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” 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: Is the Panel holding any hearings?
The Panel is not holding any hearings. It will reach its conclusions based on an analysis of relevant documentation, followed where necessary by interviews. It is not envisaged that the Panel will make any material public until its Final Report is published.
Q: How is the Panel carrying out its work?
There are three principal stages to the work of the Panel:
- Firstly it was necessary identify relevant documentation and other sources of information;
- Secondly the Panel is conducting a rigorous, evidence-based analysis of the information; and
- The third and final stage will be writing its report which will be presented to the members of Daniel Morgan’s family and the Home Secretary.
Q: Does the Panel have any idea how much material they will be considering?
It is estimated there may be up to 1.5 million pages of documentation and other material.
Q: Can a Freedom of Information Act request be submitted for information relating to the work of the Panel?
Yes. The Panel will forward any request it receives under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to the Home Office which will be responsible for its processing . The Management Statement agreed between the Panel and the Home Office requires the Home Secretary to process FOI requests in accordance with the FOI Act 2000. Where the request relates to the Panel’s processes and procedures, the Home Office is likely to need to consult the Panel before responding to the request. Where the request relates to the subject matter of the Panel’s work, the Home Office is likely to need to consult both the Panel and the organisation which provided the information in question to it before it responds to the request. The Panel will monitor the progress of any requests made under the Act to ensure that the Home Office is meeting its responsibilities to the Panel in this regard.
Q: How can 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.
Q: Who are the Panel Members?
The Panel Members are:
Q: Who assists the Panel?
The Panel is assisted by a team of people, including:
- Counsel to the Inquiry – provides legal advice to the Panel’s Members.
- The Solicitor to the Panel – administers the legal functions of the Panel.
- A Secretariat – 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 – responsible for identifying and analysing relevant documentation.