To ask Her Majesty's Government what criteria they use in deciding whether to establish an inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005 instead of a coroner's inquest in circumstances where an inquest would normally be held; and whether they will publish a protocol on the matter. [HL257]
The criteria for considering the establishment of an inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005, when a coroner's inquest cannot be held, will be the existence of highly sensitive matters—including, for example, intercept material—which are directly relevant to the purpose of the inquest, and which may not be disclosed either to a coroner or a coroner's jury, and where there is no alternative way of ensuring the matters are protected from public disclosure. A protocol is being developed and will set out the procedures to be followed in these circumstances. It is intended that the protocol will be published.