The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. More…

Sir, can I just pick up on this advance notice to witness point that Mr Dingemans has been making submissions in relation to? It is a submission which we would support. Obviously, there is a need for flexibility in how the Inquiry goes about its work. One can see the instance of a witness being recalled at relatively short notice or a new witness being, having to come in and fill in a gap in evidence, in which case notice requirements may have to be amended or just the best that can be done in the circumstances, and we are grateful for the steer that your Lordship will give as much notice as possible on that regard.

But in terms of lines of questioning and indications of documents, again, I don't think what we were contemplating in our letter was a bulleted list of questions, as one may be prepared by counsel for the Inquiry the night before they come into the hearing, but we would submit that this is an area where the witness should be provided with at least the outline areas or subject or issues which he or she is likely to face questioning on.

Similarly, in relation to documents, particularly given in this case, as I understand it, the witness will be -- the document concerned will be flashed up on screen electronically, and so, just in terms of recognition of documents, as much as anything else, and again, it may not be possible to provide a universal or a completely comprehensive list, but if there are particular documents which the Inquiry wants to speak to a particular witness about or obtain evidence in relation to, we would say that would be helpful, in these circumstances, as things are said.

It is a relatively pressurised environment for a witness to walk into. A lot of the witnesses, as your Lordship has said, are busy people. The Section 21 notices themselves are relatively wide ranging in a number of cases. They cover quite a lot of ground. Some of it relatively historical, in terms of it goes back -- several dates are given in 2005 as the starting point.

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