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Lib Dems call for review of Fatal Accident Inquiries

February 23, 2019 4:00 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrats have today passed an emergency motion at their spring conference in Hamilton calling for a full independent review of the Fatal Accident Inquiry system, after a number of families have spoken out about the years it takes to undertake inquiries into the deaths of loved ones.

The review would examine introducing new checks and balances, separating these inquiries from COPFS, as well as how to reduce timescales, remove barriers to justice and restore public confidence.

After the motion was passed, justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP commented:

"The current Fatal Accident Inquiry process urgently needs to be fixed.

"This should be a people-centred system, but at the moment it's bureaucratic and broken. Families are being re-traumatised by agonising long waits for closure. They are pushing for change and the justice system needs to respond. A new independent challenge function, checks and balances outside the Crown Office, could be the answer.

"If these inquiries can't lead to timely lessons learned, then what is their value?"