Justice Committee calls for collaboration on improvements to fatal accident legislation


The Justice Committee today commended Patricia Ferguson MSP on her Inquiries into Deaths (Scotland) Bill but recommended that she work with the Scottish Government to strengthen their Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths etc (Scotland) Bill.

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 considers the best route for the adoption of many of her Bill’s provisions would be to work closely with the Government.

Committee Convener Christine Grahame MSP said:

“The whole Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) process has been put under the microscope lately. The very nature of the legislation means that wider interest in this area is triggered by tragedy and loss. It is important that the law helps families at this most difficult of times.

“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.

“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.”


The Stage 1 Report on the Government’s Bill.

More information on the Committee’s work can be found on the Committee’s webpage.

You can follow the work of the Committee on Twitter @SP_Justice.

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