Last month, Lord Cullen published a report on the consultation process in respect of his review of the Fatal Accident Inquiry legislation. Eighty-four responses were received from a range of interested parties including stakeholders such as the Crown Office, lawyers and public sector bodies. A number of suggestions are under consideration and these include:-
- To add to the classes of death where an FAI is mandatory (e.g. deaths in residential care establishment and deaths occurring during birth);
- To allow a single, over-arching FAI to be held to consider multiple deaths occurring in more than one sheriffdom;
- To allow interested parties to make submissions to the Lord Advocate when the decision to hold an FAI is being made;
- To permit the re-opening of an FAI, or allowing a further FAI in respect of a given death in the appropriate circumstances.
Given the anticipated pressures on the public purse, it remains to be seen whether those suggestions which will result in an increase in the volume of FAIs will actually be introduced.
The Review is due to be completed later this year. We will keep you posted.