Inquest news to aid grieving families

John Malpas reports

A CIVIL liberties barrister who provides families with free representation at inquests has launched a new bulletin detailing developments in inquest law.

Leslie Thomas, of 2 Garden Court, plans to regularly update the newsletter Recent Developments in Inquest Law which he has produced in conjunction with Inquest, a support group to help the families of people who die in controversial circumstances.

Included in the first edition of the newsletter are details of the important Jamieson Court of Appeal ruling clarifying the circumstances when neglect verdicts can be reached.

According to Thomas, the lack of legal aid for representation at inquests has meant that developments in inquest law have, up until now, been largely ignored by practitioners.

"I suppose it is not a particularly sexy legal subject, but I find it interesting and it can have such important consequences for families," he said.

Thomas devotes around a fifth of his practice to providing free representation for families at inquests.

He is also a member of the Inquest Lawyers Group, a pool of 120 lawyers who help families at inquests.