The Government is to establish an independent statutory tribunal to deal with claims arising from CervicalCheck.
The Cabinet approved the appointment of Ms Justice Mary Irvine as Chair of the Tribunal. Ms Justice Irvine will begin preparatory work as soon as possible ahead of the establishment of the tribunal later in the year.
Health Minister, Simon Harris is examining the early establishment of a non-statutory scheme to provide ex-gratia payments for the women affected by the non-disclosure of the audit.
The Tribunal will be established based on the recommendations set out by Mr Justice Charles Meenan in his report on an alternative system for dealing with cases arising from CervicalCheck.
The Department of Health said hearings will be held in private and will be less adversarial than the current court process due to the adoption of pre-hearing protocols and case management procedures.
“Once established, cases will be dealt with in a timely manner. The Tribunal will differ from the current court process in that it will be voluntary for all parties.”
Minister Harris emphasised that establishing a Tribunal does not, in any way, restrict the right of women or their families to give evidence in public in the High Court, if that is their wish.