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Independent Advisory Panel (IAP)

The second tier of the Ministerial Council is the Independent Advisory Panel (IAP).  Juliet Lyon CBEwas appointed by Ministers as the new Chair in June 2016, and took up her position in September 2016.  There are currently five members of the Panel whose terms run until April 2017.

The role of the IAP is to provide independent advice and expertise to the Ministerial Board.  It will provide guidance on policy and best practice across sectors and make recommendations to Ministers and heads of key agencies.  The IAP is committed to consulting and engaging with relevant stakeholders in order to collect, analyse and disseminate relevant information about deaths in custody and the lessons that can be learned from them.

The IAP is not responsible for investigating individual deaths in custody, since independent arrangements already exist for this.   But where patterns seem to be emerging of problems of unsatisfactory practice, the Panel could undertake a review to ensure that the right lessons were learned, applied and shared.

In order to ensure good co-ordination, a single Secretariat is responsible for servicing the Board, the Panel and the Practitioner and Stakeholder Group.   The Secretariat acts as a central point for sharing learning and information about means of preventing deaths in custody.   It is also be responsible for maintaining the website, producing an annual report and issuing regular communications in the form of e-bulletins to provide an update on the work of the IAP, new developments and lessons learned.

The work of the IAP is taken forward via projects led by a member of the Panel.    The areas that these will consider are:

  • The use of restraint
  • Information flow through the criminal justice system
  • Risks relating to the transfer and escorting of detainees (under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act)
  • Article 2 compliant investigations
  • Cross sector learning
  • Deaths of patients detained under the Mental Health Act
  • Family liaison
  • Equalities
  • Statistics