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General

Fatal Accident Inquiry Bill passed 14/12/2015 New laws to modernise the Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) process have been passed by the Scottish Parliament.

Fatal Accident Inquiry Bill passed

New laws to modernise the Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) process have been passed by the Scottish Parliament.

The Inquiries into Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths etc. (Scotland) Bill includes:

  • The possibility of discretionary FAIs into the deaths of Scots abroad for the first time.
  • Mandatory FAIs for new categories of deaths, including the deaths of children in secure accommodation and deaths under police arrest, regardless of location.
  • The power to reopen an FAI if new evidence arises, and to hold a fresh FAI if the new evidence is substantial enough.
  • Flexibility on the locations and accommodation for FAIs.
  • A requirement on individuals or organisations to explain how they have implemented recommendations placed on them by a sheriff after an FAI, or why none have been implemented.

In addition, the UK Government has agreed, in principle, for mandatory FAIs to be held into the deaths of service personnel in Scotland. This could not be included in the Bill as it relates to defence, which is reserved to the UK Government.

The Crown Office will also introduce a family liaison charter, to stand alongside the Bill, to keep bereaved families fully informed of the progress of a death investigation and the likelihood of criminal proceedings or a fatal accident inquiry.

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