Bereaved mother receives positive recommendation for public funding at inquest into death of her son

Monday 19 April 2010

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The High Court has quashed the decision by the Legal Services Commission to refuse to recommend that the mother of a boy who died following an asthma attack receive public funding at the inquest. In R (Humberstone) v Legal Services Commission [2010] EWHC 760 (Admin), Hickinbottom J ruled that the Legal Services Commission had not properly understood the basis upon which funding was being sought and also that the coroner was saying that an effective investigation could not take place unless Ms Humberstone was represented. The judgment provides a useful summary of the applicability of Article 2 ECHR to cases where the medical care of the deceased is in issue. The Legal Services Commission was refused permission to appeal and consented to an order to request the Ministry of Justice to provide funding, irrespective of the outcome of any appeal.

The claimant was represented by Garden Court Chambers barrister, Stephen Simblet, who was instructed by Howells LLP, Sheffield.

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