No Legal Aid for Bereaved Families

John Bennett
John Bennett

Published: February 2nd, 2022

7 min read

A few weeks ago, the Government announced that means testing would be removed for legal aid to fund inquests in exceptional cases.

It was hoped availability of public funding would be expanded to other inquest cases. Labour proposed some amendments to the Judicial Review and Courts Bill which would have made legal aid funding available for bereaved families at inquests where public authorities were legally represented.

During the debate on the 25th January 2022, justice minister James Cartlidge said that "additional lawyers "could have the unintended consequence of turning an inquisitorial event into a complex defensive case, thereby prolonging the distress of a bereaved family".

The outcome of the debate was MPs voted against the proposals by 306 votes to 187. The Bill is expected to be debated by peers on the 7th February.

If funding remains unavailable, the inequality of arms will remain. Publicly funded bodies will be in a position to fund legal representation, yet bereaved families will not. The loss of a loved one can have a devastating impact on a family. Getting to the bottom of how they died is an important part of coming to terms with the loss. If the death has been caused by someone's fault, the family may be entitled to recover the loss of income and support caused by their death.

If you, your family of friends have suffered the loss of a loved one you may be entitled to claim for loss caused by their death.

For further information please contact John Bennett

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