Background, Legislation, Protocols, Procedures and Rulings

Updated:  26 October 2016

Terms of Reference

On the 31st May 2012, the First Minister and deputy First Minister announced the agreed Terms of Reference for the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry and advised the Assembly of the Chair of the Inquiry and the panel members for the Acknowledgement Forum.

On the 18th October 2012, the First Minister and deputy First Minister announced an amendment to the Terms of Reference for the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry.  This amendment allowed for an extension to the relevant period of the inquiry from 1945-1995 to 1922-1995.

There was a further amendment to the Terms of Reference by way of The Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse (Amendement of Terms of Reference) Order (Northern Ireland) 2015 (PDF 28 KB) which came into operation on 11 February 2015 granting the Inquiry an extra year to complete its work.  

Legislation and Protocols

On 12th June 2012, the Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse Bill and the associated Explanatory and Financial Memorandum were laid before the Assembly.  The Bill passed through a number of stages and on the 11th December 2012 the ‘Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse Bill’ was passed by the Assembly.  Following Royal Assent the Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse Act (Northern Ireland) 2013 became law on the 19th January 2013.

The Statutory Rules made under section 21 of the Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse Act (Northern Ireland) 2013 were laid before the Assembly on the 24th June 2013 and take effect from the 25th July 2013.  

Procedures and Guidelines

Chairman's Rulings

The Chairman's Ruling (PDF 888 KB) made on 4 November 2014 on applications for legal representation in respect of HIA 9, HIA 97 and HIA 154