The Scottish Civil Justice Council has set up a working group to take forward the new legislation covering fatal accident inquiries.

Reforms are coming under the Inquiries into Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths etc (Scotland) Act 2016, which takes forward many of the recommendations from Lord Cullen’s review which reported in 2009. The previous Act of 1976 is repealed and the 2016 Act sets out the framework within which the inquiry rules will add the necessary detail.

The SCJC is now responsible for the review of practice and procedure followed in inquiry proceedings, including the drafting of procedure rules. As this is a new policy area, the SCJC agreed to establish a working group with the remit to consider the necessary secondary legislation and make proposals for draft inquiry procedure rules for consideration by the full Council.

As approved by the Lord President, Lord Carloway, the working group comprises: Sheriff Principal Ian Abercrombie QC (Chairman and SCJC member), Sheriff Thomas Hughes (SCJC member), Sheriff Gordon Liddle, Elizabeth Ross (COPFS), Jillian Martin-Brown, advocate, Rona Jamieson, solicitor, Hamish Goodall (Scottish Government), Jane MacDonald (Scottish Courts & Tribunals Service), Marie-Louise Fox (Scottish Legal Aid Board), and Alan McCloskey (Victim Support Scotland).

The working group held its first meeting yesterday.