Justice4the21 campaigner Julie Hambleton gave an impassioned insight into the human cost of coronial law to legal professionals, at the Annual Inquest Seminar held by No5 Barristers’ Chambers.

The younger sister of Birmingham pub bombings victim Maxine Hambleton was joined by Christopher Stanley, a Litigation Consultant of KRW Law in Belfast, who is part of the team representing 10 of the families of victims of the 1974 pub bombings in the search for truth and in securing a fresh inquest.

They gave a hard-hitting presentation on the reality of their campaign for truth being turned down for legal aid for a sixth time. The presentation highlighted that the core issues were who planned the bombing, who knew about the plan and allowed the plan to succeed, who made the bombs, who carried the bombs, how many bombs were there and who directed the Birmingham bombings? A right to truth is what the families seek and the inquest as an investigatory mechanism to allay rumour and suspicion – to establish a public record or truth – therefore a public duty.

Following the seminar, the group tweeted that the families wanted to thank Nageena Khalique QC and all her colleagues @No5Chambers for inviting them to speak at the No5 seminar and for such a warm welcome.

Nageena Khalique QC, Head of the Public Law and Inquests groups at No5, with extensive experience in inquest and coronial law said: “It is not often that we, as legal professionals, get to see the very human side of coronial law in practice, and I think it serves us all well to be reminded of the cost to families and friends.”

Other topics covered at the annual seminar include Deaths in Custody, Developments with the European Court of Human Rights, Case Law Updates, Jury Inquests and Mock Inquest with active audience participation, with presenters from No5 including Philip Rule, winner of the Legal Aid Practitioner Group’s award for Legal Aid Barrister of the Year 2017.