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Collaboration on FAI improvements? 04/09/2015 The Justice Committee has called for collaboration between the authors of two separate FAI-related Bills

Collaboration on improvements to fatal accident legislation?

The Scottish Parliamentary Justice Committee has commented on the Inquiries into Deaths (Scotland) Bill, explaining that the best way to ensure the adoption of the Bill’s provisions is for it to be used to strengthen the Government’s Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths etc (Scotland) Bill, rather than put forward as a separate piece of legislation.

The Inquiries into Deaths (Scotland) Bill is a Private Member’s Bill, put forward by Patricia Ferguson MSP.

Like the Government’s Bill, Ms Ferguson’s Bill would repeal and replace the Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths Inquiry (Scotland) Act 1976 and give effect to many of the recommendations of Lord Cullen’s Review of FAI legislation.

While supporting the principle behind her Bill, the Committee said that it thought the best route for the adoption of many of her Bill’s provisions would be to work closely with the Government.

“As a Committee we very much share Ms Ferguson’s view that the FAI system stands or falls on whether it ensures that lessons are learned and we support many of her recommendations for improvement,” said Committee Convener Christine Grahame MSP. “We welcome Ms Ferguson’s determination to improve the inquiry process for the families and friends of victims. We have also already welcomed the Government’s Bill in the same area and see it as the appropriate vehicle to take FAI reform forward.”

“We would encourage Ms Ferguson and the Scottish Government to talk to each other about strengthening the Government’s Bill further as it proceeds to its amending stages,” she added.

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