Equality of Arms for Families at Inquest
In a recent interview with the Guardian, Chief Coroner of England and Wales, Peter Thornton QC said:
“There are cases where legal aid should, if possible, be made available for families, particularly where one or more organs of the state are represented.”
Partner and Head of Personal Injury
At McMillan Williams we strongly support the work of Health and Safety Campaign Groups such as The Hazards Campaign and Families against Corporate Killers (FACK) who have long called for the 'equality of arms' for all families of those killed by work.
We welcome what the Chief Coroner says, but we want the right to legal aid for representation at inquests to be extended to all families of those killed by work whether the state is directly involved or not.
Families who face up to companies (large or small) who killed their family members frequently have no legal representation at Inquests, whereas companies, particularly large multinationals, often have access to a slew of expensive barristers and corporate lawyers.
This means that there is often inadequate examination of the issues or the failings of the companies themselves, and of the failures of state regulatory or enforcement frameworks. It is these frameworks that are designed to keep work safe and to hold employers to account which contributes to the prevention of future deaths.
We Can Help
At MW, our mission is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone" including the families of those who have been killed by work.