Carl Sargeant was a Member of the Welsh Assembly and Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children. He died on 7 November 2017.
On 10 November 2017, the First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, announced his intention to appoint a senior barrister (known as a ‘Queen’s Counsel’) to investigate his actions and decisions in relation to Carl Sargeant.
The Terms of Reference are as follows:
“To conduct an investigation into the First Minister’s actions and decisions in relation to Carl Sargeant’s departure from his post as Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children and thereafter.”
You can read about the Investigator, Paul Bowen Q.C. and his team here.
The Independent QC Investigation is investigating the First Minister’s actions and decisions in relation to Carl Sargeant’s departure from his post as Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children and thereafter.
The Investigation’s Terms of Reference have been set by the Welsh Government after consultation with the family of Carl Sargeant.
The Investigation cannot investigate matters which fall outside of its Terms of Reference. Two other separate inquiries were established by the Welsh Government to address other issues.
The Investigation has published a preliminary issues list which gives more information about the matters it considers falls within its Terms of Reference.
The Welsh Government, after consultation with the Investigator and the family of Carl Sargeant, has fixed the procedure, set out in an Operational Protocol which can be accessed here.
Although the Terms of Reference and the Operational Protocol have been set by the Welsh Government, in all other respects the Investigation is independent. The Investigator and his team are entirely independent from the Welsh Government. Information that the Investigator gathers will be safely stored independently of the Welsh Government. The Investigator and his team will investigate the important issues within the Terms of Reference fully and fairly.
The Investigator intends to hold hearings later in the year. Due to the sensitive nature of the matters being investigated, these will not be open to the public or media although Core Participants may be able to attend.
Information held by the Investigation is exempted from freedom of information requests by s.32 of the Freedom of Information Act. It is however subject to the principles of open justice under the common law and Article 10 of the Human Rights Act 1998.
The Investigator intends that the Investigation will be held in as open and transparent a manner as possible in light of the sensitive issues being investigated:
- Anyone who wishes to provide evidence may do so by responding to the call for evidence.
- Certain persons will be designated as ‘Core Participants’ in order that they may participate in the Investigation and access materials and hearings which, for reasons of sensitivity and privacy, will not be made available or open to the public.
- A detailed report will be published at the conclusion of the Investigation.
It is intended that the report will be published within six months of the date upon which the call to evidence was published. If this timetable changes, the Investigation will publish an update on this website.
A Core Participant is a person or organisation which, in the Investigator’s view, has a particularly close connection to the Investigation’s work. It is intended that Core Participants will participate in the Investigation in various ways, for example receiving advance disclosure of documents, attending hearings (although this may be subject to restrictions in accordance with the Operational Protocol) and suggesting lines of questioning to be pursued by Counsel to the Investigation. The Investigation is currently in the process of designating Core Participants. If you consider you should be a Core Participant, please read the further information here.
The Investigator may request the Permanent Secretary of the Welsh Government to agree to reimbursement of a person’s legal costs where he considers it is essential to the effective conduct of the investigation. If you believe you should be entitled to reimbursement of your legal costs, please email the Solicitor to the Investigation at firstname.lastname@example.org setting out why in your view it is essential to the effective conduct of the Investigation that your costs are reimbursed.
Yes. The Investigation will provide ‘warning letters’ to relevant individuals in advance of the report’s publication and provide a reasonable opportunity for them to respond to potential criticisms.
An inquest has been opened into Carl Sargeant’s death. Its focus will be different from this Investigation. The Investigator will update the coroner on progress during the course of the Investigation.
The legal authority for the Investigation is derived from the First Minister’s functions set out in sections 48 and 71 of the Government of Wales Act 2006. It is not being held under the Inquiries Act 2005.
The Investigation intends to complete its work by the end of 2018, when a report will be tabled in the Welsh Assembly and published online. If for any reason this timetable is delayed the Investigation will provide an update on this website.
The Investigation will publish its report and key documents in both English and Welsh. This website can be viewed in Welsh by clicking the ‘Cymraeg’ link above. If Core Participants or witnesses wish to engage with the Investigation in Welsh, including at the hearings, then this will be arranged.