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The impact of bereaved family participation in the inquest process in England and Wales following a death in custody

Easton, Joanna (2017) The impact of bereaved family participation in the inquest process in England and Wales following a death in custody. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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The impact of bereaved family participation in the inquest process in England and Wales following a death in custody_JEASTON_December 2017.pdf
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Abstract

This thesis studies the participation of bereaved families in inquests following deaths in custody in England and Wales. When a member of their family dies in custody, a family will usually want to understand when, where and how they died. When there is a possibility of negligence or culpability on the part of the State, it is even more important for a family to understand the circumstances surrounding the death. In those situations, it is also important for mistakes to be identified so that lessons may be learned and the State is held to account for its actions. Often preventing further deaths is as vital to the family as getting answers for their own peace of mind. An inquest is inquisitorial and the role of the coroner is to find the facts; so it can be argued that the participation of the family is primarily for their own closure and does not necessarily benefit the overall effectiveness of the investigation. This thesis shows that effective participation of a family (which includes ensuring they are legally represented and have access to all evidence) is vital to achieving accountability, as well as increasing the legitimacy of the process. The legal framework governing family access to an Article 2 investigation is considered, as well as the relevance of procedural justice theory for such investigations. Individuals with personal experience of inquests into deaths in custody including legal representatives, coroners, police officers and bereaved family members were interviewed to gather their views about the impact the participation of a bereaved family has on the effectiveness of the process. Perspectives described by these interviews are analysed within both legal and theoretical frameworks to take forward an understanding of why family participation in complex inquests is so important.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: State accountability; Article 2; Right to Life; Deaths in custody; Right to participate
Subjects: K Law > KD England and Wales
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > Human Rights Centre
Depositing User: Joanna Easton
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2018 13:52
Last Modified: 16 Jan 2018 13:52
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/20996

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