Monday, December 19, 2011

#DavidKelly: TODAY High Court Hearing

High Court Hearing 19 December 2011


This is to remind you that on Monday 19 December 2011 a special hearing will take place at the High Court in London as part of the legal challenge which David Halpin is attempting to bring against the government's recent decision not to hold a coroner's inquest into the death of Dr David Kelly.

Everyone connected with this case on David's side very much hopes that as many of you as possible who have given so generously to enable matters to reach this stage will be able to attend the hearing. It is vital that the significant level of public interest regarding this issue which we all know exists is reflected and the best way to achieve this is by numbers being at the scene on the day.

At present the court has not formally decided at what time the hearing will begin or how many judges will preside over it - it could be up to three - but I will update the website again as soon as this information is known. It has been suggested, but not confirmed, that 10.30 am will be the likely start time

What can be stated as fact at this stage is that, as is standard practice, the hearing will last for two hours. David's barrister, John Cooper QC, will spend approximately 45 minutes putting an argument across explaining why his client believes there should be an inquest. The government's barrister will spend the same amount of time giving an opposite view. The judge(s) will probably not reach a decision immediately but should do so within a few weeks. Should they find in David's favour, as it were, permission would be granted for a judicial review of the government's refusal to back an inquest to go ahead.  The judicial review could then proceed subject to David being happy to take it forward. This would depend on his securing a 'protective costs order' and with continued financial support. As has been stated previously, it is highly regrettable that it should require members of the public to donate money to ensure that the law is followed correctly, but in the face of such opposition from successive governments, this is the last route available to securing an inquest. The wheels turn slowly. We must be patient and first wait to see if this initial hurdle can be cleared.

I shall update the website again as soon there is more definite news regarding times and judges' identities. In the meantime please think seriously about attending. It is irritating that the hearing has been arranged for the same week that Christmas falls - unless you like Christmas shopping! On the other hand, and I say this advisedly, this is generally considered in legal circles to be a potentially fascinating situation and certainly the first time that matters relating to the death of Dr Kelly and the Iraq war will have been heard in open court.

Dr. David Kelly Inquest Refused