Legal Aid Funding for the Bereaved at Inquest: Stop the Iniquity
KRW LAW LLP represent families of victims of both The Guildford Pub Bombings 1974 and The Birmingham Pub Bombings 1974.
We now call for a review of the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) after revelations that families bereaved as result of Northern Ireland Conflict cases in England, including the pub bombings, are discriminated against when it comes to public funding for independent legal representation.
It is an unacceptable erosion of their human rights to be told they will not get legal aid because they had to resort to Crowd Funding (CF).
Speaking today Christopher Stanley for KRW LAW LLP said
“Our clients in the Birmingham Pub Bombing case were unfairly treated and fell foul of this ‘policy’ by which unelected officials in the LAA determined that if families secure Crowd Justice Funding they this becomes a bar to public funding.
By the same token we have serious reservations about the clients we represent in the resumed inquest into the Guildford Bub Bombings, who were denied legal aid earlier this year. Any lingering hopes they may have of applying to CF the case have been destroyed on learning of this news because it will operate as a bar to future legal aid funding applications.
They are damned if they do and damned if they don’t when it comes to CF and legal aid. CF should operate as a supplement and not as a substitute for legal aid for the bereaved at inquests. In Conflict-related cases, such as in Guildford and Birmingham, these families are being differently to those in Northern Ireland in similar tragic circumstances.
Families ought not to be put into an impossibly perverse Catch–22 position when it comes to seeking parity and equality of arms within the legal process.”