Investigation under the Merchant Shipping Act 1995
Inquiry into the identification of victims
INQUIRIES: PRELIMINARY HEARING
Justice Clarke will chair a preliminary hearing on Tuesday 21
March 2000 in respect of the Formal Investigation (FI) under
section 268 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 into the collision
between the MARCHIONESS and
the BOWBELLE, and
the non-statutory inquiry into the identification of victims
following major transport accidents.
preliminary hearing will take place at: 10.00am on Tuesday
21 March 2000 at Westminster Central Hall, Storey’s Gate,
Westminster London SW1H 9NH.
Justice Clarke’s appointment to conduct both the FI and the
non-statutory inquiry was announced by Deputy Prime Minister John
Prescott on 14 February 2000
this hearing Lord Justice Clarke will give directions on the conduct
of the FI and consider the timetable and procedures for the
respect of the FI, the Treasury Solicitor, on behalf of the Attorney
General, will serve a notice of investigation on certain individuals
companies and organizations, who will then become parties to the
formal investigation. The
notice of investigation will contain the questions that the Attorney
General wishes to raise at the FI to determine the cause of the
accident and to make any recommendations for the future.
0171 222 7302
Fax: 0171 222 7305
is also intended to serve, with the notice of investigation, a copy
of the proposed directions for the FI and the proposed timetable and
procedures for the non-statutory inquiry. Any person who is
intending to appear should give advance notice in writing by
Friday 17 March to: Mr.
A J Sandal, 6th Floor Romney House, 43
Marsham Street London SW1P 3RA.
is anticipated that the substantive hearing of the FI will commence
in early October 2000.
1. The MARCHIONESS/BOWBELLE Inquiries
were ordered following the Thames Safety Inquiry which Lord Justice
Clarke conducted in 1999.
2. Sir Anthony Clarke was appointed by Deputy Prime Minister
John Prescott on 20 September 1999 to conduct the Thames Safety
Inquiry. That Inquiry
reviewed the responsibilities of Government Departments, the Port of
London Authority and other persons or bodies for promoting safety on
the River Thames and advised whether there is a case for a further
investigation or inquiry into he circumstances surrounding the MARCHIONESS
disaster on 20 August 1989
and its causes.
3. Lord Justice Clarke has been a Lord
Justice of Appeal since 1998. He
became a High Court Judge in the Queen’s Bench Division in 1993
and was the Admiralty Judge until 1998.
He practised at the Admiralty and Commercial Bar,
specialising in shipping cases including collisions.
4. Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott set
out the full terms of reference for the MARCHIONESS/BOWBELLE Inquiries
on 14 February 2000. Mr
Prescott announced the appointment of Lord Justice Clarke by Lord
Chancellor Lord Irvine of Laird to conduct the FI and his
appointment of Lord Justice Clarke to conduct the non statutorily
5. The MARCHIONESS
tragedy occurred on 20 August 1989 when the dredger Bowbelle
collided with the Marchioness with the loss of 51 lives.
6. The Inquiry team working with Lord Justice Clarke is
based at 6th Floor Romney House, 43 Marsham Street London SW1P 3RA.
All communications should be sent to Mr. A J Sandal.
Media enquiries: 0171
Public enquiries: 0171
0171 222 7305