Covid-19 Public Inquiry & Legal Action
We represent members of the Scottish Branch of the UK wide group ‘Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice’ as well as others who have been impacted by Covid-19, and lead the legal campaign in Scotland on their behalf.
If you have lost a loved to Covid-19 and wish to be represented by us, or wish to seek advice please email: email@example.com
Please be assured that our legal representation will be at no cost to you.
Since our initial meeting on the 17th August 2021 with the Deputy First Minister John Swinney and Cabinet Secretary for Health Humza Yousaf, we have had confirmation that there will be a statutory Scottish Public inquiry into the handling of Covid-19. Those we represent are grateful that the Scottish Government has listened to them.
With the ongoing tragic impact of Covid-19 on Scotland as well as the rest of the UK, nobody should expect families of victims to be silent parties, nor should they be taken for granted.
Ministers were told that any inquiry set up must retain the confidence of the Scottish families and an assurance was given that their voices would be heard.
No family should have to go through the burden of losing a loved one compounded by delay upon delay in an investigation of a death.
The Public Inquiry is the first important step in establishing accountability for all the lives lost to Covid-19 in Scotland.
Mr. Swinney said that his core priority is to get the public inquiry up and running by the end of this calendar year. To be effective and meaningful we have argued that grieving families must be at the heart of the inquiry process to get to the truth of what happened. A key element of an effective Covid-19 Public Inquiry will be the Chairperson and expert panel.
The families wish to see those with sufficient seniority and expertise appointed, with a proven track record of independence, robustness and willingness to ask difficult questions and someone who will have the ability to work closely with the bereaved families.
These are important steps that will help build trust and confidence in what will be a long journey for the bereaved families.
We are now working with the Scottish Government to contribute to the development of the terms of reference.
The Public Inquiry must:
- Recognise and address the pain and suffering the families have been subject to;
- Recognise and address the damage caused by the lack of co-operation and transparency afforded to families by the institutions involved in the death of their family member that has ultimately resulted in a lack of public trust and confidence in state institutions;
- At all times ensure that bereaved people have a full and central role in the inquiry process;
- Ensure all those affected are treated with dignity and respect;
- Establish truth and accountability;
- Ensure visibility of processes and its decision making;
How can we help?
Our team of solicitors have decades of collective experience dealing with Inquiries across Scotland.
Our most recent work can be seen in the establishment of the Sheku Bayoh Public Inquiry after we campaigned on behalf of the family for nearly six years, following the death of Sheku in police custody in May 2015.
We were also instrumental in the setting up of several inquiries following suicides at Polmont Young Offenders Institution with bereaved families.
Our specialist casework includes deaths in hospitals, police and prison custody, immigration detention, mental health settings and deaths involving multi-agency failings or where wider issues of state and corporate accountability are in question.
We are the only lawyers based in Scotland working with INQUEST, the UK NGO which provides expertise on state related deaths and their investigation. INQUEST has been involved in the Hillsborough Independent Panel, the ongoing Grenfell Tower Inquiry and has been involved in the campaign for a Public Inquiry into Covid-19.
We are unique as a law firm in Scotland, combining legal advocacy with family participation, campaigning, and parliamentary work to pursue the demands of the families we represent.
At the heart of our approach are the experiences and needs of bereaved people. Such an approach is crucial to families, not only in making sure their voices are heard, but also in holding the state to account, and changing policy and practice to prevent future deaths.
As can be seen from our public profile we fight to ensure the families we represent, have their voices heard at the highest level in Scotland.
If you believe that institutions should be held accountable for their actions during the pandemic and want to discuss how this has impacted your loved ones, whether it be in hospital, education, the medical sector, in a care home, a prison setting, transport or any other situation we can represent your interests in the forthcoming Covid-19 Public Inquiry and/or any potential civil action claim for damages that may arise.
If you have lost a loved to Covid-19 and wish to be represented by us, or wish to seek advice please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to join the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice UK and Scotland group
- Step 1 – Apply to join Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice UK via – https://covidfamiliesforjustice.org
- Step 2 – Email the Scotland Branch to tell them you have submitted an application to join the UK group. Their email address is – email@example.com
- Step 3 – Once the UK group has confirmed to you that your application to join has been accepted by them, you can then apply for membership of the Scotland Branch on – www.facebook.com/groups/178940400975118
The Scottish Administrators will then run through their much shorter approval process and will advise you once you have been accepted.
Please note that the Scotland Facebook group is a closed group ie. is available to view by approved members only.
Membership is only open to 3 categories :
- You have lost a family member to Covid-19 in Scotland and you live in Scotland
- You have lost a family member to Covid-19 in Scotland but you live outside of Scotland
- You live in Scotland but you lost a family member to Covid-19 outside of Scotland. Please note, however, that in this case the death of your relative cannot be included in the Scottish Statutory Public Inquiry and that Aamer Anwar cannot legally represent you in that Inquiry
The primary function of the Scotland Branch is to prepare their members for participation in the Scottish Public Inquiry into the Scottish Governments handling of the Coronavirus pandemic. They campaigned long and hard for such an Inquiry and engaged directly with the Scottish Government to win it. They appointed Aamer Anwar as their chosen solicitor to represent them in helping secure the Inquiry and in helping them to define the scope of that Inquiry (a process which is still ongoing). Aamer will represent the group throughout the inquiry process and will assist in trying to ensure that there is an implementation process of any findings and recommendations once the Inquiry is concluded.