Inquest Law 2011

Thursday 14 April 2011, 6:30pm

Date: Thursday 14 April 2011
Time: 6:30pm

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This seminar is designed to provide those working in inquest law with an update on recent case law. The expert speakers will also provide guidance on making submissions on verdict, and tactics during the inquest itself.

There will be a particular focus on how Coroners have been approaching their duties and exercising their discretion in relation to leaving matters to the jury in the wake of the Court of Appeal judgment in R (on the application of Lewis) v Mid and North Division of Shropshire Coroner last year. The speakers will examine the tactics involved in approaching submissions on verdict and how to tackle arguments which attempt to limit the discretion of the Coroner to leave non-causative matters to the jury.

Delegates will receive:

  • A refresher on Lewis
  • An update on recent case law
  • Greater understanding of post-Lewis issues
  • Insight into effective arguments to deal with submissions on verdict

This seminar will provide a vital update for solicitors and other legal professionals undertaking inquest work, whether they are experienced or new to this area of practice.

The seminar will finish with a 15 minute session from Kirsten Heaven:

Near-death ad hoc inquiries: investigative duties under article 2 and 3 ECHR - update on law and recent cases

This aspect of the seminar will be of interest to solicitors who not only do inquest work but who also work in other areas where there may be evidence of systematic state failure to protect an individual's life and/or protect them from inhuman and degrading treatment whilst they are in state custody (e.g. prison law solicitors and those advising children in care or custody, mental health detention and immigration detention).

After the seminar, delegates are invited to join the speakers and other members of Chambers for refreshments and the chance to ask questions informally.


  • Colin Hutchinson is an experienced barrister practising in inquest law and is also the Assistant Deputy Coroner for Bedfordshire and Luton.
  • Deirdre Malone is a junior barrister practising in inquest law.
  • Kirsten Heaven is experienced inquest law practitioner, and also has experience of ad hoc inquiries.

All three are members of the Garden Court Chambers Inquests Team.

Who Should Attend?

  • Solicitors and other legal professionals undertaking inquest work
  • Solicitors practising in clinical negligence, prison law and civil actions against the police and other public authorities
  • NGO officers and support workers providing advice to those touched by the inquest process




Colin Hutchinson, Deirdre Malone and Kirsten Heaven

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