Posts Tagged ‘judicial review’

Daily Little Law Links

November 11th, 2009
  • The sad case of Baby RB concluded yesterday when the father decided to agree with RB’s mother and the doctors that are providing care to the child that life support could be stopped.  The Times provides a summary.
  • Sharon Shoesmith, former head of Children’s Sevices at Haringay Council had a good day in court yesterday after the judge delayed ruling on her action for judicial review as a Freedom of Information request released documents that Ofsted had claimed did not exist. More details in The Times.
  • Secret Inquests were approved by a narrow majority in Parliament on Monday night. I was stunned, I thought this had gone away when it was removed from the Coroners and Justice Bill, but the Government seem to have sneaked it back in. The Independent has the story.  Why would it ever be necessary to investigate a civilian death in secret? If you are struggling with how to express your horror, I suggest a donation.  Mr Straw’s reasoning as reported by Hansard did not put my mind at ease.

Mr. Straw: This group of amendments concerns an extremely important issue. It relates to the question of whether an investigation into the cause of death can take place within the coroners system, and in compliance with article 2 of the European convention on human rights, in circumstances involving highly sensitive information, such as intercept material, which cannot be made public. It is only in a very small number of inquests—fewer than 2 per cent. of all inquests—that the coroner has to sit with a jury. Those are often the most controversial cases, where someone has died potentially at the hands of the state. Of that 2 per cent., there are only a tiny number where article 2 is engaged and there is sensitive material that should not be publicly disclosed. I should say right at the beginning that every effort is made by this Government—and will be by any Government and by law enforcement agencies—to push for the standard coronial system with a jury in this kind of case to ensure that, if humanly possible, it is a normal coroner’s inquest with a jury that holds the investigation. There was some suggestion with the de Menezes case that it would not be possible, because of the sensitive material, to hold such an inquest, but in the event it was, as ways round the problems were found.

-Taken from Hansard, emphasis mine.

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