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Fatal Accidents (Inquiry Procedure)

Volume 887: debated on Wednesday 5 March 1975

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asked the Lord Advocate if he is satisfied with the fatal accident inquiry procedure in Scotland.

the fatal accident inquiry procedure has been in operation for many years and is generally satisfactory. There is, however, room for improvement, and the question of amendment of the relevant legislation is under active consideration.

I am grateful for that reply. Will the Lord Advocate bear in mind that there is obviously widespread concern in the House and in Scotland about the number of fatal accident inquiries we have had in the past 12 months? Is there not a possibility that, through a change in policy, the right hon. and learned Gentleman is introducing the coroner's court system of England into Scottish law?

I can assure the hon. Gentleman that this is not the case and that there has been no change in policy in the Crown Office since I took the office of Lord Advocate a year ago.

Is the Lord Advocate considering, in his review, the question of legal aid for persons appearing before such a court?

This is a matter I have taken into consideration. I do not yet have anything to say on the subject.