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Fatal Accident Inquiries Report 22/08/2016 The Inspectorate of Prosecution in Scotland last week published a thematic report on Fatal Accident Inquiries (FAIs).

Fatal Accident Inquiries Report

The Inspectorate of Prosecution in Scotland last week published a thematic report on Fatal Accident Inquiries (FAIs).

In recent years, the length of time taken between the date of death and the start of an FAI has attracted considerable criticism. The inspection sought to identify reasons for such delays.

The report makes 12 recommendations designed to expedite the investigation and preparation of Fatal Accident Inquiries and improve the service offered to bereaved relatives and the public. The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service has accepted all of the recommendations.

According to Michelle McLeod, HM Chief Inspector, there has been a significant reduction in the time taken between the date of death and the start of an FAI since the Scottish Fatalities Investigation Unit (SFIU) assumed responsibility for investigating all non-suspicious deaths in 2012.

Nevertheless, she said, “While cases are being progressed more quickly, we have identified a number of areas where there is scope for further improvement to expedite investigations and provide a better service to bereaved relatives.’

“A lack of understanding of the purpose of an FAI has also led to delays and, in some cases, the involvement of unnecessary witnesses,’ she explained. ‘To assist nearest relatives and other interested parties and to provide clarity on the purpose and scope of an FAI, COPFS requires to set out, in an understandable format, the circumstances of the death and the issues that require to be further explored in the public interest at the FAI , prior to the first court hearing.’

The report can be found here.

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