Submitted in response to written requests from the Inquiry, usually providing lists of questions to be answered. In most cases these formed the basis of questioning in public sessions, but in some cases they were read into the record (or taken as read) and the witness did not appear in person.
Given by witnesses invited by the Inquiry, normally after they have made written statements. These sessions could be viewed live online and sometimes on television news services, and the video recordings are part of the archive. The statements were usually released to the public after the public sessions.
A solicitor with wide experience in defamation, privacy and media law, Shear gave evidence as a "core participant", telling the Inquiry that in dealing with the press, particularly the tabloid press, he had seen numerous examples of misconduct in pursuit of stories concerning the private lives of well-known individuals. He gave his opinion that understaffed newsrooms were under pressure to find and feature sensational stories and that tabloid journalists had become more aggressive in their methods. He also gave evidence that he had himself been the subject of surveillance.