Areas of Specialisation / Areas / Public Inquiry and Inquests

Public Inquiry and Inquests

Providing representation at Public Inquiries and for bereaved families at inquests.

members of the Public Inquiry and inquests team


Chambers has always been committed to providing representation for bereaved families at inquests. Members of Chambers regularly appear in all parts of the country, work closely with the national campaign and advice group INQUEST and have had a number of cases reported.

Members of Chambers have particular experience of inquests into deaths in police custody and prisons, a number of recent examples of which are listed at the bottom of the page. Members were also involved in the high-profile Christopher Alder inquest, involving the unlawful killing of a black ex-paratrooper in police custody.

Our practitioners have successfully pursued remedies for bereaved families by way of judicial review, including the landmark case of R(Middleton) v HM Coroner for West Somerset [2004] 2 AC 182 (regarding the applicability of Article 2 to inquests into deaths in custody). The decision in Middleton has had a substantial impact on jury findings in such cases and on the determination of state responsibility where prison authorities or the police have failed in their duty of care.

Members of chambers are also instructed in other inquests including the Kingsway Hospital Inquests before the South Derbyshire Coroner on behalf of a former member of the hospital staff whose conduct was called into question.

Notable cases

Click here to see details of notable cases.

Inquest news stories

Ongoing: Hillsborough inquests

22/7/14    Unlawful killing verdict for death of toddler Summer Rogers-Ratcliffe   

9/5/12 Inquest into deaths of two children whilst mother was in psychotic state hears evidence of lack of response by the police

16/12/09 Sonny Lodge public inquiry

10/9/08 Kelly Hutchinson inquest

02/04/08 Vicky Robinson inquest

12/02/08 Andrew Jones inquest

06/12/07 Prison service condemned by Louise Giles inquest jury

13/09/07 Martin Middleton inquest

08/08/07 Jessie James inquest

27/06/07 Verdict returned in Abergele cyclists inquest

08/12/06 Inquest verdict questions appropriateness of prison for vulnerable women

24/11/06 Inquest into the death of Louise Davies at HMP New Hall

24/11/06 Inquest to begin of man found hanging in police van

26/06/06 Inquest into death of Capt Ken Masters

22/06/06 Jury find failure to take action to prevent death in police station

12/05/06 Highly critical verdict in Rebecca Turner inquest

16/02/06 Inquest finds school worker suicide "avoidable"

02/12/05 Damning verdict returned into Wendy Booth's death in condemned Durham Prison

17/11/05 Critical verdict returned in Andrew Barclay inquest

11/03/04 Major breakthrough for Inquest law : Middleton House of Lords ruling

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8.9.16 Hillsborough Law launched

16/8/16 Manchester Peterloo Massacre anniversary - GCN and others challenge UAE Human Rights record

15/8/16 Landlords behaving badly - damages for dispossession

15/8/16 Pete Weatherby QC on renewed critique of IPP sentences

27/7/16 3-Judge Upper Tribunal panel allows Tax Credit Appeals test case

26/7/16 Tribute to Bryan McGuire QC 

20/7/16 Tenants and borrowers subjected to unlawful evictions (defective N325 forms)

8/7/16 LALY16 outstanding achievement award for GCN Hillsborough team

29/6/16 Tom Royston speaking at LAG Housing Law Conference

24/6/16 Certifying asylum and human rights claims as “clearly unfounded”  

17/6/16 GCN immigration team response to MoJ consultation on tribunal fees

GCN sponsors PLP JR North conference 14.7.16 Manchester

Immigration and EU law for housing lawyers - the new Immigration Act, Brexit and more | Housing seminar | 6.7.16

The Immigration Act 2016 | Immigration seminar | 1.7.16

GCN to host INQUEST Conference and fundraising quiz 16.6.16

Mark George QC speaking at YLAL North meeting 15.6.16

20/5/16 Joe Markus shortlisted for LALY Legal Aid Newcomer Award

GCN Criminal Law update May 2016

26/4/16 Truth Justice Accountability | Hillsborough 22 Families Press Conference

26/4/16 A landmark day in legal history - Hillsborough Inquests

11/4/16 Recompense for the wrongfully convicted (Nealon)

22/3/16 Supreme Court grants permission in Kiarie

18/3/16 Not guilty verdict for Chetham violin teacher

4/3/16 GCN wins Barristers' Chambers of the Year at MLA 2016

29/2/16 Permission to appeal in relation to adult dependent relative rule

17/3/16 GCN launches new Appeals and Miscarriages of Justice Team

18/2/16 Considering Jogee: Joint Enterprise, Retrospective Effect and Fresh Appeals - Mark George QC and Matt Stanbury

11/2/16 CART-style JR of Upper Tribunal succeeds  

9/2/16 Appeal allowed in "police officer on jury" case after CCRC referral  

8/2/16 Permission granted in best interests (grandchild) immigration appeal

5/2/16 Repeated acquittals in historic cases

3/2/16 Housing allocation scheme - discrimination challenge by Irish Traveller

27/1/16 Bedroom Tax victory

GCN barristers present PLP "How to JR"

Matt Stanbury presents "JR for criminal practitioners"

25/1/16 SSHD failure to apply own policy to Victim of Trafficking

5/1/16 Important statelessness JR (Semeda)

5/1/16 GCN members elected to BHRC Exec Committee

18/12/15 GCN remains totally committed to first class representation through legal aid

17/12/15 Permission granted in trafficking JR

16/12/15 Natalie Wilkins writes in  Family Law

15/12/15 Gary Willock on delay in obtaining Legal Aid

12/12/15 Extension of Workers Registration Scheme 2009 Appeal now listed for Feb 2017

11/12/15 Court of Appeal quashes extended sentence

23/11/15 Sentence reduced (serious health problems and delays)

12/11/15 GCN Housing Bulletin: disrepair and injunctions

3/11/15 Chambers UK Bar Guide ranks GCN in Band 1

Tom Royston speaking at CPAG seminar

30/10/15 Transgender prisoners

26/10/15 Successful out of time sentence appeal

Anti-Slavery Day event

30/9/15 Acquittal in Operation Pallial

28/9/15 Immigration FTT recognizes appellant as Victim of Trafficking (VOT)

24/9/15 Immigration FTT relies on Trafficking JR

17/9/15 Legal 500: Counsel "easy to work with and quickly engage"; Clerks "consistently very helpful"

11/9/15 FGM Protection Order to safeguard 13 year old taken to Sudan

9/9/15 Ben McCormack Court of Protection talk for YLAL North

14/7/15 GCN crime team support Rally to Save Criminal Legal Aid

30/6/15 GCN crime team "It's time we took action"

12/6/15 Mark George QC on IPCC Orgreave report

Kate Stone chairs PLP "Private Law for Public Law Practitioners"

4/6/15 Art 8 defences for Canal and River Trust  

Lucy Mair speaking at "Contemporary Issues in Refugee Law" 7.7.15 (Lancaster)

28/5/15 Lucy Mair discusses Eve Ensler's "Avocado" human trafficking monologue

27/5/15 Lucy Mair on trafficking JR (Free Movement)

13/5/15 Abuse of process argument succeeds

Pete Weatherby QC  at Haldane "Child Sex Abuse Inquiry" Lecture 

Pete Weatherby QC at Prisoners' Advice Service panel discussion

20/4/15 Matt Stanbury on Bad News for Good Character

20/3/15 Sex Offender Notification Reviews Guidance

4/3/15 Joe Markus appointed to EHRC Panel of Counsel

26/2/15 S222 injunction to restrain begging in Leeds City Centre

16/2/15 Extension of Workers Registration Scheme was unlawful

13/2/15 Rory O'Ryan appointed as Deputy Upper Tribunal Judge

27/1/15 Permission granted in homelessness affordability appeal

13/1/15 Kate Stone on Human Rights and Arms Trade Treaty

5/1/15 GCN move to Blackfriars House profiled in M.E.N

15/12/14 Gudanaviciene (exceptional funding)   

10/12/14 Landmark Supreme Court decision on ISP Prisoners

5/12/14 UT decision on Bereavement Benefits and telephone marriage

13/11/14 Permission to appeal granted in benefits case

10/10/14 Pete Weatherby QC wins Legal 500 Regional Silk Award 2014

3/10/14 Clerks  "first class " in Legal 500 2014