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Fatal Accident Inquiries to be Debated By MSPs

Posted in: Accidents and Sickness Abroad Personal Injury Wrongful & Accidental Death 

MSPs are to debate whether or not Fatal Accident Inquiries (FAI) should be reformed following recommendations from a senior judge.

Lord Cullen was asked by the Scottish government in 2008 to review the law on fatal accident inquiries and made 36 suggested reforms in his report to how FAIs are conducted in Scotland. One of the recommendations was to review the deaths of Scots abroad after their bodies had been brought home.

It was hoped that by conducting an FAI following a death abroad it would demonstrate how the person was killed and eliminate any suspicious circumstances. 

Justice Committee 

The Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee will begin taking evidence on the Inquiries into Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths etc (Scotland) Bill this week, with the Families Against Corporate Killers expected to give evidence.

The group have long campaigned for FAIs to be carried out following deaths abroad and had called for a review of practices of inquiries taking place after criminal proceedings. A written submission to the committee from the campaign group said:

“It is utterly unacceptable that families are having to wait so long for answers as to why their loved ones died.

“The stress of getting through each day without a husband, son, parent, sibling, etc, by your side is hard enough.”

“Doing that while not knowing how or why they died makes it all the more unbearable.”

“A family who loses a loved one in a work-related incident needs to know that the death has not been for nothing.

“There is a fundamental need to know that some good is going to come from the death.

“We would urge you to put that at the heart of your deliberations on the Bill.”

Deaths Abroad

Whilst many are looking to reform the FAI process in Scotland, the passing of the bill would allow FAI into deaths abroad, something that has long been campaigned for by the charity Death Abroad You’re Not Alone. 

The charity which was set up by Julie Love following the death of her son in Venezuela has campaigned for investigations into deaths abroad. In a written submission, she said:

“My son had died thousands of miles away in another country and there was no assistance whatsoever from any governing body in the UK.”

“Appalled at this and the total lack of respect towards my deceased son, I vowed to ensure no other family were treated like ours.

“I speak for many bereaved Scots families who feel that they have not had a voice in the current Scottish legal system, they welcome this major change to Scots law and the impact this will have for future families who find themselves in such a traumatic situation.”

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