Witness information

Mobile phones, other electronic devices and bags

On days when ciphered or anonymous witnesses were called, no mobile phones or other electronic devices were allowed to be taken into the court area. These had to be left with security, who stored them securely and issued receipts.

On such days, in addition to the general security procedures on entering the building, there were further bag and person searches at the Inquiry security point and visitors were required to leave bags with security if necessary.

On days when no ciphered or anonymous witnesses were called, individuals were free to retain their electronic devices including mobile phones and laptops. It was permitted for these to be taken into the waiting area and hearing chamber itself but in accordance with normal court rules no images or audio were permitted to be be recorded and mobile phones etc had to be turned off in the hearing chamber. The use of laptops and tablet devices was permitted in the hearing chamber.

Witness scheduling

In June 2012 the Inquiry issued provisional scheduling letters to all the civilian, expert and police witnesses who were likely to be called to give oral evidence during its Hearings. These letters advised individuals of the provisional date scheduled or of a two week window during which they may have been required to attend to give evidence.  

Definitive scheduling letters were subsequently issued. 

The Oral Hearings

The Oral Hearings commenced on 3 September 2012 and took place at the Principal Registry of the Family Division, First Avenue House, 42-49 High Holborn, London, WC1V 6NP in court 80. Oral evidence concluded with the final witnesses on 13 November 2012.

During the Hearings, the Inquiry had a witness team on hand to offer support and guidance to witnesses when they arrived at First Avenue House.  


Civilian witnesses were entitled to claim expenses in line with the Inquiry’s expenses policy. To do so, they needed to complete an official expense form, supported by appropriate receipts etc. The expense form and expense policy were accessed through the links on this page (below) and were also available at the hearing venue in hard copy. Completed forms had to be submitted to the Inquiry within 7 days of giving evidence. Payment was made directly to a nominated bank account, normally within 30 days. Expenses could not be reimbursed on the day of giving evidence. 

Witness links