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Justice Committee Hears Evidence on FAI Bill

The Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee has begun hearing evidence on the Inquiries into Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths etc (Scotland) Bill.

One of the key people to give evidence before the Committee is Lord Cullen of Whitekirk, who led the 2009 Review of Fatal Accident Inquiry legislation. The Committee also heard from Julie Love from ‘Death Abroad – You’re Not Alone’, Louise Taggart from ‘Families Against Corporate Killers’ and, Jimmy Jones, a retired RAF flight lieutenant who is now a campaigner.

The Bill’s main objective is to reform and modernise the law governing the holding of fatal accident inquiries (FAIs) in Scotland, and to implement the recommendations made in Lord Cullen’s 2009 Review.

Among other things, the Bill aims to enact new provisions to modernise the system of FAIs in Scotland, to extend the categories of death in which it is mandatory to hold an FAI, and to allow discretionary FAIs into deaths of Scots abroad where the body is repatriated to Scotland.

“Given that the Bill aims to implement the recommendations of an earlier review carried out by Lord Cullen, we are pleased that Lord Cullen is able to come to the Committee to give members his views on the proposals to amend the existing legislation,” commented Committee Convener Christine Grahame MSP.

“We are also looking forward to hearing contributions from those who have campaigned over many years for change in this area – as a Committee we need to hear from those who have first-hand experience of the current system in order to be able to properly consider the measures in the Bill,” she added.

“This will be the first of a series of formal evidence sessions as we scrutinise this Bill and determine whether the proposed legislation will achieve its aims in improving the workings of the FAI system,” she concluded.

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