A judge was asked to identify mechanisms to avoid court proceedings

A report has recommended setting up a tribunal to hear and determine Cervical Check claims.

Mr Justice Charles Meenan was asked to look at an alternative system for dealing with claims to avoid "adversarial court proceedings".

Health Minister Simon Harris has published the report.

It proposes that a tribunal be established under legislation to hear and determine claims.

It says hearings in a tribunal would be heard in private - and be less formal than a court process.

It suggests: "This alternative system will take into account the issue of liability, each person's constitutional right of access to the courts and all parties' constitutional rights to fair procedures".

For these reasons, the report says the system must be voluntary.

Judge Meenan also recognises the "courage and fortitude of the women and their families" - who told him of their experiences of dealing with the consequences of cervical cancer and "the effects of the non-disclosure, or disclosure in an unacceptable way, of the results of audits carried out following diagnosis."