Barristers urge peers to strengthen support for bereaved families in Coroners and Justice Bill

BEREAVED families should have access to legal representation at inquests, the Bar Council and the Criminal Bar Association have told the House of Lords.

This change is one of a number of amendments being sought by barristers to the Coroners and Justice Bill. The Bar Council and the Criminal Bar Association sent a briefing to members of the House of Lords, outlining their views on key aspects of the Bill, which is having its Second Reading in the House of Lords today.

The reforms had their House of Commons stages earlier this year. They encompass a diverse range of issues, from reform of the Coroner’s Court system, to the establishment of a Sentencing Council, which would replace the existing Sentencing Guidelines Council. There are also provisions for the anonymity of witnesses, including vulnerable and intimidated witnesses.

The Bar Council and the Criminal Bar Association have welcomed the amendments to the Bill which were implemented during its passage through the House of Commons, but remain concerned that elements of the Bill still require detailed consideration during the House of Lords stages.

The full press release is available on the Bar Council website.