4: The public inquiry as a site of struggle

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This chapter proposes a reading of public inquiries that foregrounds contestation and struggle. At the outset of the Undercover Policing Inquiry, the police developed an approach of ‘neither confirming nor denying’ the deployments of undercover officers into political groups. This approach was fiercely contested by non-state participants who sought to find answers about the levels of intrusion into their lives. The chapter shows how the Neither Confirm Nor Deny position was eventually rejected by the Chair of the Undercover Policing Inquiry, but how the issuing of restriction orders allowed him to protect the anonymity of many police witnesses.

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Secrets and Disclosure in the Undercover Policing Inquiry