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PUBLIC INQUIRY INTO THE DEATH OF SHEKU BAYOH – FINAL TERMS OF REFERENCE

Press Release- 21st May 2020

PUBLIC INQUIRY INTO THE DEATH OF SHEKU BAYOH – FINAL TERMS OF REFERENCE

The Cabinet Secretary for Justice has announced to the Scottish Parliament this morning the final terms of reference for the Public Inquiry to be chaired by Lord Bracadale. (please see undernoted)

Statement issued by family solicitor Aamer Anwar on behalf of Sheku’s partner Collette Bell and the family of Sheku Bayoh.

“The Bayoh family welcomes the unprecedented and wide ranging terms of reference now published for the Public Inquiry. Sheku’s loved ones have long believed that the Crown Office and PIRC betrayed their struggle for justice, but they hope this inquiry will robustly search for the truth and hold power to account. I pay tribute to the courage and perseverance of Collette (Sheku’s partner) and Sheku’s family without whom this inquiry would never have been possible. ”

Terms of Reference issued by Scottish Government:-

The aim of this Inquiry is two-fold: Firstly, the Inquiry will establish the circumstances surrounding the death of Sheku Bayoh in police custody on 3 May 2015 and make recommendations to prevent deaths in similar circumstances, as would have been required under the Inquiries into Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths etc. (Scotland) Act 2016.

Secondly, the Inquiry will assess and establish aspects of the case that could not be captured, or fully captured through the FAI process, namely

(a) the post incident management process and subsequent investigation and make any recommendations for the future in relation to these;

and (b) the extent (if any) to which the events leading up to and following Mr Bayoh’s death, in particular the actions of the officers involved, were affected by his actual or perceived race and to make recommendations to address any findings in that regard.

The remit of the Inquiry is accordingly:-

  • To establish the circumstances of the death of Sheku Bayoh, including the cause or causes of the death, any precautions which could reasonably have been taken and, had they been taken might realistically have resulted in the death being avoided, any defects in any operating models, procedures and training or other system of working which contributed to the death and any other factors which are relevant to the circumstances of the death;
  • To make recommendations, if any, covering the taking of reasonable precautions, improvements to or introduction of any operating models, procedures and training, or other system of working, and the taking of any other steps which might realistically prevent other deaths in similar circumstances;
  • To examine the post-incident management process and the investigation up to, but not including, the making by the Lord Advocate of the prosecutorial decision communicated to the family of Sheku Bayoh on 3 October 2018 (and the Victims’ Right to Review process that was undertaken by the Crown Counsel in 2019), including:
  • (i) the effectiveness of procedures for gathering and analysing information,
    (ii) the securing and preserving of evidence,
    (iii) the roles and responsibilities of those involved,
    (iv) liaison with the family of the deceased and
    (v) compliance with any relevant Convention rights; and make recommendations, if any, for the future in respect of these matters;
  • To establish the extent (if any) to which the events leading up to and following Mr Bayoh’s death, in particular the actions of the officers involved, were affected by his actual or perceived race and to make recommendations to address any findings in that regard; and to report to the Scottish Ministers on the above matters and to make recommendations, as soon as reasonably practicable.

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