INQUEST works to empower bereaved people, who are often excluded from exercising their legal rights, and to ensure that their collective experience is heard by policymakers, parliamentarians and the wider public.

Our access to justice campaign seeks to ensure the equality of arms of bereaved families by developing a system which treats the bereaved with dignity and respect, and supports them in navigating the legal process following a death. 

We are campaigning for:

  • Automatic non-means tested public funding for all bereaved families in state-related inquests as recommended by the Angiolini and Bishop’s Reviews, the Bach Commission, the Chief Coroner’s Annual Report and the Joint Committee on Human Rights.
  • Stronger networks, tools, guidance and support for bereaved families so that they can achieve truth, justice and accountability, dignity, respect, justice and system change;
  • Embedded and transparent structures of accountability across all state institutions and private providers.

Legal aid for inquests is a key area of our campaign. We are calling for:

  1. Automatic non-means tested funding to families for specialist legal representation immediately following a state-related death to cover preparation and representation at the inquest and other legal processes.
  2. Legal aid should also include financial support for families, with reference to: travel and subsistence, overnight accommodation, loss of wages.
  3. Funding to an equivalent level to state bodies/public authorities and corporate bodies represented including funding for silks and juniors, rates and brief fees, attendance at pre-inquest reviews;
  4. A relaxation of the current rules to enable funding of more than one family legal representative where a real and insurmountable conflict exists.

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