Public Hearings

In accordance with paragraph B (i) of the Terms of Reference, the Tribunal has been carrying out preliminary investigations in private for the purpose of determining whether sufficient evidence exists in relation to the matters referred to in the Terms of Reference. These investigations are continuing. However, it is already clear, from these preliminary investigations in respect of a number of matters, that there is sufficient evidence to warrant proceeding to a full public inquiry and, consequently, the Tribunal will so proceed.
Having regard to the Terms of Reference, the necessity for the Tribunal to assemble information which may lead to evidence and having regard to the confidential nature of the information it is receiving and to the fact that portion of that information may transpire not to be relevant to the inquiry, the Tribunal formed the opinion that it is in the public interest, expedient that the investigating and evidence gathering stage of the inquiry be conducted in private.
The Tribunal will therefore, for the time being, continue its work (including the preliminary investigations referred to above) in private until the Tribunal is ready to proceed to a public hearing.
The Tribunal indicated at its public sitting on the 14th day of January 1998 the manner in which it would treat the confidential nature of any commercial or personal information that came into the possession of the Tribunal. These are contained in the guidelines in Appendix 2.