Inquests

5 Essex Court barristers are “incredibly knowledgeable in the field and a real pleasure to work with.” Chambers UK

5 Essex Court is recognised as a leading set providing a comprehensive service in this practice area. Our extensive experience includes:

(1) advice to police forces, individual officers, the Prison Service, private contractors, and other public authorities and organisations on pre-inquest issues such as investigation, disclosure, the need for a jury, anonymity, the ambit of inquests and the application of Article 2 of the ECHR;

(2) individual and organisational preparation for inquests;

(3) advocacy in the course of an inquest;

(4) advice and advocacy in relation to challenges to the decisions of coroners;

(5) assistance in the aftermath of inquests in relation to the implementation of recommendations and ensuring organisational learning.

Inquests in which members of chambers have appeared include:

  • Inquest into the 96 deaths at Hillsborough Football Stadium in 1989 – Counsel for South Yorkshire Police, West Midlands Police, St John’s Ambulance Service, and Sheffield Wednesday Football Club
  • Inquests into the Tunisia shootings –  appointed by His Honour Judge Loraine-Smith as Counsel to the inquests
  • Inquest into the death of Jacob Michael – Counsel for Cheshire Constabulary
  • Inquests into the 7/7 Bombings – Leading and Junior Counsel for City of London Police and Junior Counsel for Metropolitan Police Service
  • Inquest into the death of Derrick Bird – Counsel for Cumbria Police
  • Inquest into the death of Naomi Bryant – Counsel for the Parole Board and Counsel for Hampshire Constabulary
  • Inquest into the deaths of Mark Nunes & Andrew Markham – Counsel for the Metropolitan Police Service and Counsel for Hampshire Constabulary
  • Inquest into the death of Raul Moat – Counsel for Pro-Text Systems (Supplier of Taser equipment)
  • Inquest into the death of Jean Charles de Menezes – Counsel for the Metropolitan Police Service and individual firearms officers
  • Inquests into the deaths of the Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed – Counsel for the Secret Intelligence Service
  • Inquest into the death of Terry Nicholas – Counsel for the Metropolitan Police Service he Commissioner and individual officers
  • Inquest into the death of Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protest in the City of London – Leading and Junior Counsel for Metropolitan Police Service and Counsel for the City of London Police
  • Inquest into the death of Charlotte Shaw, a 14 year old girl who died whilst training for the Ten Tors Challenge on Dartmoor – Counsel for the Ministry of Defence
  • Inquest into the death of Adam Rickwood, one of the youngest persons to take their own life in custody – on behalf of Serco Home Affairs
  • Inquest into the death of Ronal Maddison at Porton Down in 1953 – Counsel for the Ministry of Defence
  • Inquest into the New Cross Fire – Counsel for the Metropolitan Police Service
  • Inquest into the death of Christopher Alder – Counsel for Humberside Police
  • Inquest into the death of Harry Stanley – Counsel for the Metropolitan Police Service
  • Inquest into the death of Mark Duggan – Leading and Junior Counsel for the Metropolitan Police Service
  • Inquest in the death of Jimmy Mubenga – Counsel for G4S officers
  • Inquest into the death of David Emmanuel (Pop Star Smiley Culture) – Counsel for the Metropolitan Police Service

Members of Chambers are frequently instructed to advise on and appear in claims for judicial review in relations to inquests and coronial law – these include:

  • R (Hurst) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2007] 2 AC 189 – relevance of date of death to application of Art.2 ECHR to inquest
  • R (Da Silva) v HM Assistant Deputy Coroner for Inner South London [2008] Inquest LR 119 – judicial review arising out of decisions of HM Deputy Coroner in the De Menezes inquest
  • R (Pounder) v HM Coroner for North & South Districts of Durham & Darlington [2009] 3 All ER 150 – requirement of coroner to give ruling on legality of use of force
  • R (McLeish) v HM Coroner for North London  [2010] Inquest LR 202 – duty of coroners to disclose post mortem and toxicological reports
  • R (Patel) v Lord Chancellor  [2010] Inquest LR 188 – challenge to refusal to grant exceptional funding for legal representation for the 7/7/ Bombings Inquests
  • R (Wilkinson) v HM Coroner for Greater Manchester South District  [2012] EWHC 2755 (Admin) – whether verdict of unlawful killing could be returned in case of death caused by dangerous driving A-G v HM Coroner for South Yorkshire  [2012] EWHC 3783 (Admin) – quashing of existing verdicts and ordering of new inquests of those that died at Hillsborough in 1989
  • R (Sreedharan) v HM Coroner for Greater Manchester [2013] EWCA Civ 181 – ambit of coroner’s discretion of the nature and extent of the inquiry

In addition, members of chambers offer training sessions on all aspects of inquest law and practice.