31 January 2020

INQUEST has published the latest issue of Inquest Law magazine. The journal provides an overview of the issues arising from investigations and inquests into state related deaths, as well as relevant case law updates.

Written by INQUEST Lawyers Group members and invited contributors, the journal informs practitioners about recent legal developments relating to the inquest system and the investigation of sudden deaths, with extensive casenotes written by the leading lawyers in the field. The magazine also keeps practitioners informed of policy developments in related areas.

Anyone can subscribe to Inquest Law and the magazine is free to members of the INQUEST lawyers group.

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In issue 40...

The challenges for inquest lawyers supporting bereaved families, in the face of defensiveness from public authorities, are often most evident in cases involving police. This was stark during the inquest into the death of Edir ‘Edson’ Da Costa (page 14), which was far from the ‘non-adversarial’ nature envisaged for inquests. At this inquest, as well as those of Nuno Cardoso (page 16) and Adam Harris (page 18), a relentless focus on drugs and the actions of those who died left little room for the critical evidence, despite concerns around the failures of police in treating symptoms of intoxication as a serious medical emergency.

There are also particular challenges at inquests when deaths in prison are classed as ‘natural’, including difficulties accessing legal aid, with evidence based on sometimes poor investigations and clinical reviews. As the cases of Jordan Hullock (page 20), Wayne Moore (page 22) and Annabella Landsberg (page 24) demonstrate, such deaths are often far from natural. It took specialist lawyers with access to legal funding to enable robust scrutiny of these preventable deaths.

However, the value of critical inquest findings is undermined by the continued lack of national oversight on these findings and arising recommendations, which are too often repeated. Both articles in this edition, on the Grenfell Inquiry and on the repeated failure of prisons to learn from recommendations, demonstrate the importance of a mechanism for national oversight on state related deaths.

Published three times a year, Inquest Law is a vital resource for anyone working on the investigation of sudden deaths. Inquest Law is distributed widely amongst lawyers, coroners, academics and policy makers. 

Find out more about Inquest Law and how to subscribe to the magazine here. If you are interested in becoming a member of our lawyers group, which includes a free subscription, more details can be found here


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