No answer yet to my letter to the Ministry of (or for?) Justice but I remain baffled after this week. A week in which we had a second pre-inquest review (PIR) meeting and Simon Hughes, the Minister of State for Justice and and Civil Liberties was interviewed on You and Yours responding to Nico Reed’s mum, Rosi.
Simon Hughes stuck to the line that families don’t need legal representation at an inquest because it is (simply) an inquisitorial process. Such a blinkingly naive and ill informed response. He swerved the question about why public authorities can (and probably always do) have publicly funded legal representation. Typical slimeball stuff.
Here’s what could have happened if we’d had no legal representation at the PIR this week:
Coroner: Hello. Any questions from the family?
Family: We would like a jury at LB’s inquest please.
Coroner: I don’t think LB was detained so there is no basis to have a jury.
Family: He was. The unit door was locked.
Coroner: He could have asked for it to be unlocked. He wasn’t detained.
Family: Yes he was.
Coroner: I’m afraid I need more evidence. I remain unconvinced.
Family: He was.
Coroner: That isn’t evidence. It’s opinion.
Family: He just was.
Coroner: There will be no jury. Any other questions?
The British “justice” system clearly on fire when it comes to inquests.