To: UK Government

Relatives rights to Legal Aid for Inquests.

Relatives rights to Legal Aid for Inquests.

We want grieving relatives to have the right to Legal Aid to ensure they are not intimidated and prevented from getting the truth at an inquest. All too often families find themselves in an unfair fight with public bodies such as the police, the army, the NHS.
These bodies bring in the best legal representation, often paid for by the public purse. In most cases relatives are left to fend for themselves at a time when they are still grieving for their loved ones.
Relatives usually have limited means and little knowledge of legal procedures and will find the inquest intimidating and confusing. Most people will be shocked to find, as I did, that although you wish to represent your loved one you have no disclosure rights, requests to the court are often either ignored or misinterpreted. Without legal representation an expert witnesses will not take instructions to provide expert opinions and analysis to support the family’s case.
Many relatives like me are struggling to understand a death which could have been avoided at the same time they are trying to come to terms with a recent bereavement. They are unaware of the types of inquest available such as the standard UK inquest or the more in depth and investigative EU Article 2 Inquest.
Coroners, although supposedly independent, are often familiar with the other party’s legal representatives and in some cases have worked in the same legal practice. In some cases the coroner works with the state to secure a quick verdict leaving the relatives facing decades of work to secure the truth.
We live in a society where criminals have more rights than victims or their families and I believe this injustice needs reversing. Legal Aid funding should be extended to serve bereaved families who deserve to know the truth about how their relative died.

http://www.examiner.co.uk/news/grieving-widower-howard-denby-tried-13265128
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/calls-inquiry-call-over-suicide-6926557
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/carol-denby-killed-herself-after-6981544

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/fathers-despair-delays-cps-review-9682318
http://www.itv.com/news/wales/2013-01-14/robbie-powell-death-report-redactions-uncovered-by-wales-this-week/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4393976/Asthma-girl-s-parents-call-unlawful-death-ruling.html
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4393976/Asthma-girl-s-parents-call-unlawful-death-ruling.html

Why is this important?

These bodies bring in the best legal representation, often paid for by the public purse. In most cases relatives are left to fend for themselves at a time when they are still grieving for their loved ones.
Relatives usually have limited means and little knowledge of legal procedures and will find the inquest intimidating and confusing. Most people will be shocked to find, as I did, that although you wish to represent your loved one you have no disclosure rights, requests to the court are often either ignored or misinterpreted. Without legal representation an expert witnesses will not take instructions to provide expert opinions and analysis to support the family’s case.

Many relatives like me are struggling to understand a death which could have been avoided at the same time they are trying to come to terms with a recent bereavement. They are unaware of the types of inquest available such as the standard UK inquest or the more in depth and investigative EU Article 2 Inquest.
Coroners, although supposedly independent, are often familiar with the other party’s legal representatives and in some cases have worked in the same legal practice. In some cases the coroner works with the state to secure a quick verdict leaving the relatives facing decades of work to secure the truth.
We live in a society where criminals have more rights than victims or their families and I believe this injustice needs reversing. Legal Aid funding should be extended to serve bereaved families who deserve to know the truth about how their relative died.

http://www.examiner.co.uk/news/grieving-widower-howard-denby-tried-13265128
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/calls-inquiry-call-over-suicide-6926557
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/carol-denby-killed-herself-after-6981544

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/fathers-despair-delays-cps-review-9682318
http://www.itv.com/news/wales/2013-01-14/robbie-powell-death-report-redactions-uncovered-by-wales-this-week/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4393976/Asthma-girl-s-parents-call-unlawful-death-ruling.html
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4393976/Asthma-girl-s-parents-call-unlawful-death-ruling.html

This is important because for the relatives they need closure and only the truth will give them this and for society in general we have seen too many cover up's and as a consequence many more innocent people have suffered when the truth has been hidden. The loss of Legal Aid has disadvantaged the majority with justice and truth only available to those who can afford to buy their version of it.

England and Wales.

Updates

2017-08-22 21:34:32 +0100

25 signatures reached

2017-08-10 15:27:02 +0100

10 signatures reached