§ Mr. Mikardo
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether Her Majesty's Government will introduce legislation to give legal representatives at coroners' inquests the same rights of examination and cross-examination as in other legal proceedings;
(2) whether Her Majesty's Government will introduce legislation to give the families of deceased persons a right to be represented at inquests.
§ Dr. Summerskill
Rule 16 of the Coroners Rules 1953 already provides that any person who, in the opinion of the coroner, is a properly interested person may examine any witness, either in person, or by counsel or solicitor. This provision is designed to put the family of the deceased, as far as is consistent with the differences between inquisitorial and accusatorial proceedings, in the same position as regards legal representation and examination of witnesses at an inquest as in other legal proceedings. If my hon. Friend is aware of any case in which this provision has given rise to difficulty and will let me have particulars I will look into it.