Bereavement and Inquests

The organisation INQUEST is the UK’s leading, expert organisation on inquests. It has produced invaluable resources for friends and families going through inquests:

The Centre for Military Justice is a member of INQUEST and the Inquest Lawyers Group. We work closely with them, sharing our experiences and working together to improve state responses to deaths generally and within the Ministry of Defence in particular. 

In our experience, military families are frequently not advised of their right to seek independent legal advice following a death, or may feel uncomfortable about doing so. We strongly urge anyone affected to seek some initial advice and signposting that your options are properly explained.  It is particularly important given that, following a military death, there will often be a Service Inquiry (which is an internal investigation) that the family may wish to seek advice about, as well as an inquest. It is also important to protect any civil claims the deceased’s estate may have, pending the outcome of an inquest. 

The Centre for Military Justice offers a specialist inquest service that is tailored to military families and which recognises the very particular challenges faced by them. Through our Director’s long-standing experience in representing bereaved military families at inquests, we are able to offer an expert, bespoke service, providing not only excellent legal representation (including representation in court by a barrister) but, if the case requires it and the family wishes to do so, help with wider campaigning, press support and follow-on lobbying work to try and ensure that other families do not have to go through the same thing in the future.  We may be able to link up families with other bereaved people and experts through our links with INQUEST, too. If legal aid is available in individual cases, we can arrange for a referral to an independent solicitor so that an application for legal aid can be made and our Director also works as a consultant for civil liberties firm, Hodge Jones & Allen, for this purpose. We have also referred numerous families to other solicitors in the Inquest Lawyers Group that have the appropriate expertise to support military families. 

If you have suffered the death of a loved one in or connected to service, please do not delay in taking legal advice. There may be urgent steps that you should take and you should not feel worried about doing that. The service is free and confidential. If we cannot help you we will find you someone who can.

The Director’s previous inquest cases include:

Inquest touching the death of LCpl Joel Robinson, who died after reporting serious bullying:

Inquest touching the death of Pte Sean Benton (Deepcut barracks). Verdict here: 

Press release here:

Inquest touching the death of Pte Cheryl James (Deepcut barracks). Verdict here:

Press release here:

Legal representation and advocacy support to the family of Pte James Collinson (Deepcut barracks). More information here:

Inquest touching the death of Cpl Anne-Marie Ellement. Press coverage:;;

Inquests into the deaths of Rfn Darren Mitchell and C/Cpl James Ross. Press coverage:

Non military inquests include:

Inquest touching the death of Naomi Bryant:

Inquest touching the death of Alice Gross:

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