THE BIRMINGHAM PUB BOMBINGS 1974: BELFAST LAWYERS AT HEARINGS TO RESUME INQUESTS
KRW LAW LLP has been assisting a number of families who lost loved ones in the Birmingham Pub Bombings 1974.
Today in Solihull the Senior Coroner heard legal arguments as to whether she had powers to resume the inquests into the Birmingham Pub Bo Bombings 1974 which were closed in 1975 following the prosecution, conviction and sentencing of the Birmingham Six.
Those conviction were overturned on appeal in 1991 and therefore there have never been a completed inquests into the Birmingham Pub Bombings 1974. Counsel acting on behalf of our clients argued that the Senior Coroner had the powers to resume and in so doing the resumed inquests should now be compliant with human rights standards given the implications of state involvement.
Counsel for the West Midlands Police contested the powers to resume the inquests. Counsel for the Senior Coroner advised her that she did have powers. The Senior Coroner made Orders to the West Midlands Police to disclose a range of material relating to the bombings and responding to evidence already presented to her on behalf of the families. This Order for disclosure included material relating to the timings of the bombings and any prior notice given to the police, the reasonable steps taken by the police in response to the bombings, matters of falsification of logs and records by the West Midlands Police which formed part of the appeal against on behalf of the Birmingham Six and issues in relation to any informer being known to the police or given protection.
This evidence is to be provided to the Coroner by 4 March 2016 and a summary of this evidence given to the families. She will then assess the need for further submissions from all the parties and arrive at a decision, provisionally listed for 6 April 2016.
KRW LAW LLP welcomed these decisions of the Senior Coroner and will be urging her to ensure compliance with her Orders by the West Midlands Police in order for her to arrive at a decision as to whether she has the relevant powers to inform her decision as to whether there is sufficient interest in her resuming the inquests. We strongly argued that both were engaged and this process should not be further set back by any lack of compliance on behalf of the West Midlands Police. Paddy Hill, one of the Birmingham Six, attended the hearings in support of the families and the Justice4the21 campaign.
10 02 2016
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