Inquests News


“Hillsborough Law” – Should families in inquests be able to obtain legal aid? Government Consultation (August 2018)



February 2019 The Ministry of Justice published the Final Report: Review of Legal Aid for Inquests.

Non-means tested legal aid will not be available to families in inquests where the state is legally represented. It is proposed there should be a new Guide to Coroner’s Services, a range of simple leaflets for families, and better signposting to support services. All coroners and coroner’s officers will undergo compulsory training in 2019/2020. There will be a review of training for lawyers who conduct inquests to help keep inquests inquisitorial not adversarial.

The Court of Appeal confirmed that in suicide cases the standard of proof for short form and narrative conclusions was the  civil balance of probabilities not the criminal standard of beyond reasonable doubt.  R (Maughan) v HM Senior Coroner for Oxfordshire v The Chief Coroner for England Wales [2019] EWCA civ 809 (see case summaries.)

A medical case (in which medical treatment may incur liability in tort) will not generally engage Article 2.  R (Maguire) v HM Senior Coroner for Blackpool and Flyde & United Response and ORS [2019] EWHC 1232 (Admin) (see case summaries.) This decision upheld Parkinson from 2018. [2018] EWHC 1501 (admin.)