CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

DEFENCE (FRONT BENCH) – LEGAL REPRESENTATION AT INQUESTS – 12 December 2007

Dr Julian Lewis: If the families are expected to manage at inquests without legal representation, which is an arguable point of view, why are Ministry of Defence officials, with all their professionalism and expertise, allowed to have legal representation?

[The Minister for the Armed Forces (Mr Bob Ainsworth): The coroner system is a benefit for all. There are occasions on which the MOD feels that it needs legal representation, and there are occasions on which we would consider, in exceptional circumstances, legal aid for families. However, introducing that across the piece would not be the appropriate route down which to travel.]