The High Court has given permission for a Judicial Review of the Government’s policy on legal aid funding for inquests.
Joanna Letts, whose Brother Christopher, died after being hit by a train in South London in 2013 is claiming the current guidance is flawed and unlawful. The incident happened four days after he was allowed to leave Hospital.
Joanna Letts was originally denied Legal Aid to be represented at a four day inquest listed for January 2015. Lawyers argued she had no legal experience to represent herself. The Inquest Lawyers Steering Group state that bereaved families deserve representation to ensure the full facts of a death come to light.
After issuing Judicial Review proceedings the Legal Aid Agency who refused her legal aid in the first place agreed to provide her with Legal Aid.
To her credit Joanna has opted to continue with the Judicial Review proceedings to help other families going through similar situations. The hearing is likely in January.
Like many members of the Judiciary the Judge found that the current denial of legal aid raises issues of wider public importance and allowed the case to proceed.
For further help and advice on Inquests contact Paul Cooper on 01205 311511.