Tynwald has approved of changing the period of time analysed in the independent review into the government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The review will now consider actions taken up until April this year, rather than the initially proposed scope of the last administration.

Home Affairs and Justice Minister Jane Poole-Wilson explained the reasoning behind the changes.

She said in the Tynwald sitting: ‘The rationale for the suggested extension of the period in scope for the review is to enable the review to explore the entirety of the government’s response including the period until the last restrictions in the island were lifted in spring this year.’

Chair of the review Kate Brunner KC has commenced evidence gathering this month and is due to complete her report and recommendations by the end of December 2023.

This is in line with the terms of reference agreed by Tynwald in April.

The purpose of the review is ‘not to apportion blame but to identify good practice, lessons learned, and to make recommendations for change, if any is required’, according to the government.

It will ensure that this knowledge is fed into current working practices and improve the way that the government deals with any future emergency response to a pandemic.

The review will be robust and fully independent.

Unlike a statutory inquiry that would gather evidence by way of public hearings, the methodology for independent reviews is entirely flexible.

Reviews generally use a wide range of methods of evidence gathering and don’t usually follow the format of court-like hearings.

In order to evaluate government decisions, the review will gather information from the Isle of Man Government, Tynwald and various officers and committees.

The government has said that it’s vital that the review fully understands the impact which those bodies had on the public, businesses and services.

The review will want to gather information from the public including, for example, from individuals who were particularly affected by the border closure.

Called to the bar in 1997, chair Ms Brunner possesses experience in a range of different areas including criminal law, healthcare law and public law.

As leader of the Western Circuit, she is elected to lead approximately 2,000 barristers in one of the six legal areas or ‘circuits’ of England and Wales, and has led reviews into the closure of courts, and safety in courts during the pandemic.