Legal aid for inquests: Now or never!
At Hodge Jones & Allen we’re fully behind INQUEST’s Now or never! campaign in support of granting automatic legal aid for families whose loved ones have died in state custody.
INQUEST’s campaign is calling for:
- Automatic non means tested legal aid 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.
- Funding equivalent to that enjoyed by state bodies/public authorities and corporate bodies represented.
Time and time again we’ve seen how state bodies have unlimited access to public funding during the inquest process, while vulnerable and grieving families face a demeaning, complex and demanding funding application process. Some get legal aid, but they’re in the minority.
Few can fail to have been moved by the story of Becky Montacute and the long road to justice she faced in memory of her mother.
Becky’s incredibly sad story makes a compelling argument for there to be legal aid available to all bereaved families who find themselves in Becky’s position. Until and unless every bereaved family has access to legal representation, the justice system is failing families and is not fit for purpose. It simply has to change.
Nina Ali, medical negligence partner at Hodge Jones & Allen