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12 Dalhousie L.J. 173 (1989-1990)
The Two Contradicitions in Public Inquiries

handle is hein.journals/dalholwj12 and id is 787 raw text is: 11
The Two Contradictions
in Public Inquiries
Liora Salter*
Given how frequently they are commissioned, it is surprising how little
has been written about inquiries and, more particularly, about the role of
science and advocacy within them.' The lack of serious attention paid to
inquiries may be a product of their diversity. For example, inquiries include
royal commissions and consultative committees and risk assessments. Some
of these inquiries have wide-ranging mandates, commission extensive
research and actively solicit public commentary, while others are more closely
akin to legal proceedings. Grouping such different objectives and activities
under a single category -  namely, inquiries -  is intrinsically difficult. Or the
reason for the lack of attention paid to inquiries may simply be that the politi-
cal issues raised by specific inquiries seem more important to commentators
*   Professor and Chair, Department of Communication, Simon Fraser University.
I   Some recent literature includes: R.J. Anthony and A.R. Lucas, A Handbook on the
Conduct of Public Inquiries in Canada (Toronto: Butterworths, 1985); S.F Borins, Value
of Aviation Safety: A Review of the Dubin Commission Report (1982) 8 Canadian Public
Policy 596; Leslie A. Pal, Sense and Sensibility: Comments on Forget (1988) 14
Canadian Public Policy 7; T.J. Plurkett and J. Lightbody, Tribunals, Politicals and Public
Interest: The Edmonton Annexation Case (1980) 8 Canadian Public Policy 207; D. Yudel-
man, Practice of Consensus (1979) 6 Policy Options/Politique.

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