Leslie Thomas QC, Thalia Maragh and Una Morris of the Garden Court Inquests and Public Inquiries Team have been appointed to the JUSTICE Working Party, 'When Things Go Wrong'.
The working party aims to make informed recommendations to reform institutional responses to deaths or other serious incidents where a “systemic pattern of failure” is evident. The needs and experiences of the bereaved and survivors will be central to this work and its intended outcome will be to suggest reforms that will promote public trust in the justice system.
JUSTICE is an all-party law reform and human rights organisation working to strengthen the justice system – administrative, civil and criminal – in the United Kingdom.
The Working Party will consider:
- timely justice: how elements of current fact-finding processes and investigation might be integrated to reduce duplication and delay;
- transparency and responsibility: how investigations, inquiries and inquests can be better coordinated to embed best practice, promote certainty and ensure inclusion of bereaved people and survivors; and
- fairer outcomes: how inquiry hearings can be improved with regard to procedures, evidence and effective participation.
To inform its review the Working Party will research institutional processes in other jurisdictions.
The Working Party has been formed to overcome the challenge of duplication and delay that can be found in the justice system. JUSTICE said:
"Concurrent processes across different areas of the justice system lead to duplication and delay. From the perspective of those caught up in the aftermath of the disaster – including victims, witnesses and alleged wrongdoers – the process can be agonisingly lengthy. Inquiries themselves are notoriously time-consuming: the Bloody Sunday inquiry took over 12 years to publish its conclusions; IICSA is onto its fourth Chair. The 1989 Hillsborough stadium disaster has been the subject of an inquiry, an inquest, an independent non-statutory review and an independent panel.
Further, victims and their families often speak of alienation, mistreatment and whitewashing by the very bodies set up to identify the wrongs they have suffered. Their accounts suggest that inquest and inquiry processes are often highly adversarial and potentially re-traumatising."
The working party is chaired by Sir Robert Owen.
When Things Go Wrong expects to report by September 2020.
More information about the working party and a full list of the members can be viewed on the JUSTICE website.
Inquests and Inquiries | Tuesday 11 December 2018
Leslie Thomas QC delivers closing statement at Grenfell Inquiry on behalf of survivors and bereaved families
Leslie Thomas QC and Thalia Maragh are representing 23 clients including survivors, bereaved family members and loved ones.
Inquests and Inquiries | Tuesday 28 August 2018
Inquest into death of Windrush citizen Dexter Bristol concluded after family walk out of hearing
Una Morris represented the family, instructed by Irène Nembhard of Birnberg Peirce.
Inquests and Inquiries, Civil Liberties and Human Rights | Thursday 11 July 2019
Family statement on Anthony Grainger police shooting: Public Inquiry finds police operation breached Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights
Leslie Thomas QC of Garden Court represented the family, instructed by Farleys Solicitors.