Sunday, 29 July 2012

Representations to Mr Gardiner on 16 March

As part of his hearing on 16 March 2004 the coroner, Mr Gardiner, heard representations from those he regarded as "properly interested persons" as to whether he should resume the inquest into Dr Kelly's death.  It has to be recognised that the representations couldn't be determinant, however if one of the parties had requested resumption then I think Mr Gardiner would have had grave difficulty in ignoring such a request.

This is what happened as recorded in the transcript of the hearing:

An inquest is essentially a fact finding exercise and there can be no parties to it, this I take to be the justification for the Coroner's Rule 20, which defines the various categories of properly interested persons.  The public at large is clearly not included in those provisions.  The discretion under Rule 20(2)(h) being only applicable to persons of the like nature to those previously listed in the Rules.

I understand that Mr. D. Pearson represents the various interested Departments and Mr. Gompertz represents Mrs. Kelly.  I have indicated the basis of these Proceedings, do either of you have any representations to make?

by Mr. Gompertz:
I submit, on behalf of the family of Dr. David Kelly, that there is no exceptional reason justifying the resumption of the Inquest pursuant to the provisions of Section 17A Subsection 4 of 1988.  I am instructed that the family accepts Lord Hutton's findings as to the mode and proximate cause of Dr. Kelly's death.  The family, however, is disappointed that Lord Hutton did not consider more fully the extent to which the state of mind in which Dr. Kelly chose to take his own life was induced by the failings of the Ministry of Defence in the exercise of the duty of care owed to him as his employer.  I am not suggesting that that disappointment constitutes an exceptional reason.

by Mr. Pearson:
I have no representations.

I did indicate I would be prepared to consider whether there are any other interested persons.  This would be the time to come forward.
(None did.)

It's worth noting that very substantial written representations dated 7 October and 16 October 2003 had been made by the family and sent to Lord Hutton.

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