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Legal Advice and Assistance: Armed Forces

Volume 461: debated on Monday 4 June 2007

To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice if she will bring forward proposals to improve the legal advice and service available to bereaved service families; and if she will make a statement. (139623)

Funding for representation at most inquests is out of the usual scope of legal aid because of the inquisitorial nature and greater informality of the process in the coroner's courts. Legal help is, however, available subject to financial eligibility (and other usual tests set out in the Legal Services Commission’s funding code) and this would cover all preparatory work, which may include drafting written submissions to the coroner. I met my right hon. Friend the Minister for the armed forces on 18 April to discuss a range of ways in which bereaved military families could be supported. Details of the support to families will be set out in a written ministerial statement to be issued shortly.