Ketcher & Anor, Re Application for Judicial Review [2020] NICA 31 (03 June 2020)

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Cite as: [2020] NICA 31

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Neutral Citation No: [2020] NICA 31

Ref:      MOR11270

Delivered:  03/06/2020

Judgment: approved by the Court for handing down (subject to editorial corrections)*

IN HER MAJESTY’S COURT OF APPEAL IN NORTHERN IRELAND

ON APPEAL FROM THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE IN NORTHERN IRELAND

QUEEN’S BENCH DIVISION (JUDICIAL REVIEW)

IN THE MATTER OF AN APPLICATION FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW BY LINDA KETCHER AND CAROL MITCHELL

Before: Morgan LCJ, Stephens LJ and Treacy LJ

MORGAN LCT (delivering the judgment of the court)

Background

The Judicial Review proceedings

Relevant Statutory Provisions

Section 17A

is to be determined by the coroner, who may revoke or vary the notice on that ground.

Section 17B

Litigation Privilege

The first two conditions can be extracted from a trilogy of 19th-century cases reviewed in the judgment together with the decision in Waugh. The third condition could only have come from Re L.

Coronial proceedings

“The reality is that Inquests into deaths in police custody are almost always adversarial in nature. This has been the unanimous opinion of Coroners, lawyers and families who have given evidence to this review. There is nothing inherently wrong with an adversarial approach as it may be the best way to robustly test evidence in court. However, it needs to be recognised as such. The expectation that the Coroner can meet the family’s interests during the inquest is wholly naive and unrealistic as well as unfair to families and to the Coroner.”

This comment was made in support of the view that families needed legal representation in such inquests in order to protect and develop their interests but it demonstrates that although the coronial process is essentially inquisitorial, for the properly interested persons the experience is largely adversarial.

Other matters

Conclusion

11


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URL: http://www.bailii.org/nie/cases/NICA/2020/31.html