On 7 February 2019, the Ministry of Justice published their ‘final’ report of their Review of Legal Aid for Inquests, acknowledging the challenges that bereaved families face, but rejecting the overwhelming evidence in favour of automatic non means tested legal aid funding for families following a state related death.

INQUEST, INQUEST Lawyers Group and many bereaved families we work alongside responded to the call for evidence for the review. We found this response from the MOJ was both dishonest and a betrayal of those who invested in this review in the hope of securing meaningful change. 

For decades INQUEST and the families and lawyers we work with have highlighted the inequality of arms faced by bereaved families at inquests. There must be automatic non-means tested legal aid funding for families, for specialist legal representation immediately following a state-related death.

INQUEST and bereaved families need your help to push forward the message and make clear that the government must urgently reconsider its conclusions, listen to families and implement meaningful reform of funding for inquests for bereaved people. Please see our Access to Justice campaign page to find out how you can get involved. 

Further press coverage:

  • 'Ministers' £6.5 for legal aid a drop in the ocean, say lawyers', Guardian, Owen Bowcott and Amelia Hill