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5SAH Inquests & Public Inquiry barristers have extensive experience of acting in Inquests and Public Inquiries. We have outstanding advocacy experience and utilise our knowledge from other practice areas, including criminal law, judicial review and regulatory proceedings.
5SAH Inquest barristers are instructed to advise and represent individuals and organisations at all severities of inquest hearings on behalf of interested persons.
We represent the full range of Interested Persons:
- bereaved families and individuals,
- corporate bodies and companies,
- local authorities,
- hospital trusts,
- care homes,
- health professionals and emergency services,
- Police forces
- Prison officers,
- Police officers
- military personnel/Police Officers.
- government departments including: The Home Office, Ministry of Justice, Her Majesty’s Inspector of prisons.
The breadth of our expertise means we recognise the importance of handling matters with the upmost sensitivity from our initial advice and throughout the inquest process, from pre-hearings, conferences, the inquest hearing itself, leading to the coroner’s conclusion on ‘how the deceased came by their death.’
What is an Inquest?
When a person dies, a post-mortem is carried out to determine the cause of death. When the cause of death cannot be determined, the coroner opens an inquest to make a finding on how the person died.
The inquest will determine four questions:
1. Who the deceased was;
2. When they died;
3. Where they died; and
4. How the deceased came by their death (the most important questions for determination).
A coroner gives a ‘conclusion’ which can be a narrative conclusion, giving reasons. A short-form conclusion can also be made, examples of short form conclusions are:
natural causes, open verdict, neglect, suicide. A coroner can make a short-form conclusion with a longer narrative, giving reasons for his or her findings.
Where the state is involved the inquest is held under Article 2 of the European Convention of Human Rights.
5SAH Inquest barristers have an exceptional level of experience in inquests and also represent clients in other linked proceedings. We have represented clients in Judicial Review Proceedings following an Inquest, which are rare complex in nature. Inquests involving Police Officers and Prison Officers are generally Article 2 cases (before a jury).
We provide tailored advice and high-quality advocacy throughout. We recognise the proceedings can be stressful, demanding and emotional and we provide a high-level of support to our clients, particularly if there is significant media or public attention during the hearing process.
We have considerable experience and expertise across the team acting in high profile and sensitive public inquiries both as counsel to the Inquiry as well as on behalf of Core Participants.
What is a Public Inquiry?
A Public Inquiry is set up by the Government to look at a matter of public concern. All parties are there to examine the facts and to find out exactly what happened. An Inquiry will also make recommendations to try to prevent what has gone wrong from happening again. The inquiry process serves a wider public interest.
5SAH inquest barristers have been involved in some of the largest and most high-profile public inquiries and reviews in recent years. They are highly regarded for their advocacy skills in and outside of the court room during this delicate process of inquiry.
5SAH inquiry barristers utilise their expertise from a broad range of practice areas: criminal defence & prosecutions, regulatory, human rights, judicial review and public law. This means that we can assist and anticipate the full range of risks that are involved in a public inquiry for all parties. We represent all levels of participant, including government departments, organisations and individuals.
Notable inquiry cases include:
- Grenfell Tower inquiry.
- The Dame Linda Dobbs Review (Lloyds Banking Group – considers issues relating to HBOS Reading were investigated & appropriately reported).
- Undercover Policing Inquiry.
- An Independent inquiry into child sexual abuse (“IICSA”).