Families face shocking injustice over legal aid for inquests, campaigners say

Legal signing paperssource: Express & Star
published: 1 October 2019

Grieving families are facing a “shocking” injustice when trying to get legal aid funding for the inquest of a loved one who died in state care, campaigners claims.

The ruling by Mr Justice Green enables relatives attending a coroner’s court to benefit from expert legal representation in cases where a state body is involved in a death.

Charities have called for an end to the disparity between the amount of publicly funded legal aid being provided to state bodies and families.

It comes as figures suggest mental health trusts, police forces and the prison service are spending millions of pounds on legal representation at inquests, in comparison to the thousands of pounds the Legal Aid Agency has given to bereaved families for such hearings over a similar period of time.

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On Tasers, policing and imagining new responses to violence

Police Car Incidentsource: Medact
published: 18 October 2019

With the recent announcement of Tasers being made more widely available for use by the police in the UK, black feminist organiser and Global Health postgraduate Sarah Lasoye argues that the health community must take notice.

During her keynote speech at Conservative Party conference, Home Secretary Priti Patel announced a new ring-fenced fund of £10 million to arm up to 60% of frontline police officers with tasers. The announcement follows a series of police-related promises Patel has made since her appointment this July.

From the recruitment of 20,000 new police officers, to the rollout of a new stop and search pilot seeking to give the police more Section 60 like powers, it’s clear that this government remain insistent on the false-narrative that increased police powers will prevent crime.

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Bereaved families launch petition & campaign on legal aid for inquests

Cases in the UKsource: Ekklesia
published: 27 February 2019

Bereaved families and INQUEST have launched a campaign, Now or Never! Legal Aid for Inquests. This follows the decision by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) to reject widely supported proposals and overwhelming evidence in favour of fair legal funding for bereaved people.

The campaign is calling for the government to reconsider this decision and urgently introduce automatic non-means tested legal aid funding to bereaved families following a state-related death. The detail of this proposal is outlined in a new briefing by INQUEST.

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