There are many lessons to be learned from the conclusions of the Daphne Inquiry. One is that we should consider whether the EU or the Council of Europe needs to set up a formal process by which one of them can monitor the conduct of public inquiries in member states. The monitors could be appointed from the ranks of serving or recently-retired judges from independent countries. Their role would be to oversee the inquiries but not to take a part in the actual fact-finding and decision-making. Their brief would be to report back to a centralised body and tell us whether, in their view, the inquiry had been conducted fairly, thoroughly, and without any obvious influence from government or other sources. This could, in part, deal with the problem of inquiries in rogue states such as Hungary, Poland, and Malta.
And there’s another reason why independent observers would be desirable: governments, and trolls, and others working on their behalves, wouldn’t be able to claim falsely that the inquiry judges were biased. We already have UN observers that monitor general elections across the globe. Why not extend the principle to another area of enormous importance?