‘A Practical Guide to the Law in Relation to Inquests’ by Ramya Nagesh
This book is a comprehensive but practical guide for all of those working in inquest law – from those instructed in their first case right through to those who have been practising for years, or coroners conducting their own inquests. It is neither a purely pragmatic guide, nor is it an academic dive into inquest law. It is both.
Accordingly it is designed to answer the most likely questions any practitioner or coroner will have, from the procedural (such as ‘what is a pre-inquest review?’ and ‘what does an inquest hearing look like?’) through to the legal (such as ‘what is the basis for an Article 2 inquest?’ and ‘on what grounds might a witness be granted special measures?’). These are all questions which the author has asked or been asked multiple times over her years of practice. In providing the answers this book draws upon statute, guidance and the most relevant and recent legal precedent.
A Practical Guide to the Law in Relation to Inquests follows the natural structure of an inquest case so that it is as intuitive to use as possible. Part 1 sets out the background to an inquest, Part 2 covers matters you will be considering at the pre-inquest stage, Part 3 takes you through the inquest hearing itself and Part 4 addresses matters once the hearing has concluded.
Specific topics include:
- What is an inquest? Its purpose, sources of law and background;
- Starting an investigation and opening an inquest;
- Pre-inquest reviews: content and procedure;
- Scope of an inquest;
- The duty and power to hold an inquest with a jury;
- Evidence at an inquest;
- The inquest hearing: selection of a jury, questioning of live witnesses and closing submissions;
- Conclusions at an Inquest;
- Prevention of Future Death Reports;
- Challenging Decisions of the Coroner.
A Practical Guide to the Law in Relation to Inquests will therefore be a welcome addition to any bookshelf or work bag for many years to come.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ramya Nagesh is a barrister at 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square. She has spent over fifteen years in the law, with well over eleven of those at the Bar. After almost a decade building a successful criminal practice, she chose to focus primarily on another area in which she was being instructed more and more: inquests.
Ramya has acted in the widest range of inquests: from those lasting less than a day where she is the only advocate, up to those of the greatest public interest. Some of the most recent inquests in which she has acted include an inquest into the death of a man beheaded by a person suffering from severe mental difficulties, an inquest into the sudden death of a man whilst he was being arrested and the Inquest into the Terror Attacks at the Fishmonger’s Hall in November 2019.
PART 1 – THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF AN INQUEST
Chapter One – the Background to an Inquest
Chapter Two – What Is an Inquest?
Chapter Three – Starting, Stopping and Resuming an Investigation
PART TWO – FROM INSTRUCTION TO HEARING (PRE-INQUEST MATTERS)
Chapter Four – Formally Opening an Inquest
Chapter Five – Pre-Inquest Reviews
Chapter Six – Scope
Chapter Seven – Should There Be a Jury?
Chapter Eight – Evidence
PART THREE – THE INQUEST HEARING
Chapter Nine – Evidence in Writing and Inquests Entirely in Writing
Chapter Ten – Starting the Inquest Hearing
Chapter Eleven – Witnesses
Chapter Twelve – Closing Submissions
Chapter Thirteen – Closing of the Inquest and Conclusions
PART FOUR – AFTER THE INQUEST
Chapter Fourteen – Prevention of Future Deaths Reports
Chapter Fifteen – Challenging Decisions of the Coroner and Fresh Inquests
ANNEX – RECORD OF INQUEST