Judgments - Regina v. Her Majesty's Coroner for the Western District of Somerset (Respondent) and another (Appellant) ex parte Middleton (FC) (Respondent)

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    48.  There has been in this case a full and satisfactory investigation. Mrs Middleton does not seek another inquest. The conclusions of the jury, which Mrs Middleton sought to publicise, have been published to the world. No purpose is served by a declaration.

    49.  The arguments of the Secretary of State and Mrs Middleton on the acceptability of the inquest regime to discharge the state's procedural investigative obligation under article 2 have, in each case, succeeded in part and failed in part. But the Secretary of State has succeeded in persuading the House that the Court of Appeal's declaration should be set aside. To that extent his appeal succeeds. We make no order for the payment of costs by any party.

    50.  In this appeal no question was raised on the retrospective application of the Human Rights Act and the Convention. They were assumed to be applicable. Nothing in this opinion should be understood to throw doubt on the conclusion of the House in In re McKerr [2004] UKHL 12.

APPENDIX I

    ORDERS OF REFERENCE, ETC.

    WEDNESDAY 20 JUNE 2001

    Appeal Committees—Two Appeal Committees were appointed pursuant to Standing Order.

    Appellate Committees—Two Appellate Committees were appointed pursuant to Standing Order.

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    THURSDAY 4 JULY 2002

    Regina v. H M Coroner for the Western District of Somerset (Respondent) and another (Petitioner) ex parte Middleton (Respondent)—The petition of the Secretary of State for the Home Department praying for leave to appeal was presented and referred to an Appeal Committee (lodged 25th April).

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    TUESDAY 24 SEPTEMBER 2002

    Regina v. H M Coroner for the Western District of Somerset (Respondent) and another (Petitioner) ex parte Middleton (FC) (Respondent)—The certificate of public funding of Jean Middleton was lodged.

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    WEDNESDAY 13 NOVEMBER 2002

    Appeal Committees—Two Appeal Committees were appointed pursuant to Standing Order.

    Appellate Committees—Two Appellate Committees were appointed pursuant to Standing Order.

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    THURSDAY 14 NOVEMBER 2002

    Regina v. H M Coroner for the Western District of Somerset (Respondent) and another (Petitioner) ex parte Middleton (FC) (Respondent)—That leave to appeal be given, and that the petition of appeal be lodged by 28th November.

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    MONDAY 2 DECEMBER 2002

    Regina v. H M Coroner for the Western District of Somerset (Respondent) and another (Appellant) ex parte Middleton (FC) (Respondent) (England)—The appeal of the Secretary of State for the Home Department was presented and it was ordered that in accordance with Standing Order VI the statement and appendix thereto be lodged on or before 13th January next (lodged 28th November).

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    MONDAY 13 JANUARY 2003

    Regina v. Her Majesty's Coroner for the Western District of Somerset (Respondent) and another (Appellant) ex parte Middleton (FC) (Respondent)—The petition of the appellant praying that the time for lodging the statement and appendix and setting down the cause for hearing might be extended to 10th February next (the agents for the respondent consenting thereto) was presented; and it was ordered as prayed.

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    MONDAY 10 FEBRUARY 2003

    Regina v. Her Majesty's Coroner for the Western District of Somerset (Respondent) and another (Appellant) ex parte Middleton (FC) (Respondent)—The petition of the appellant praying that the time for lodging the statement and appendix and setting down the cause for hearing might be extended to 10th March next (the agents for the respondent consenting thereto) was presented; and it was ordered as prayed.

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    MONDAY 10 MARCH 2003

    Regina v. Her Majesty's Coroner for the Western District of Somerset (Respondent) and another (Appellant) ex parte Middleton (FC) (Respondent)—The petition of the appellant praying that the time for lodging the statement and appendix and setting down the cause for hearing might be extended to 31st March next (the agents for the respondent consenting thereto) was presented; and it was ordered as prayed.

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    TUESDAY 1 APRIL 2003

    Regina v. Her Majesty's Coroner for the Western District of Somerset (Respondent) and another (Appellant) ex parte Middleton (FC) (Respondent)—The appeal was set down for hearing and referred to an Appellate Committee.

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    FRIDAY 18 JULY 2003

    Regina v. Her Majesty's Coroner for the Western District of Somerset (Respondent) and another (Appellant) ex parte Middleton (FC) (Respondent)—The petition of Inquest and its associated charitable trust praying for leave to intervene in the said appeal was presented and referred to an Appeal Committee.

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    THURSDAY 31 JULY 2003

    Regina v. Her Majesty's Coroner for the Western District of Somerset (Respondent) and another (Appellant) ex parte Middleton (FC) (Respondent)—That the petition of Inquest and its associated charitable trust that they might be heard or otherwise intervene in the said appeal be allowed to the extent that they may lodge written submissions only.

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    THURSDAY 2 OCTOBER 2003

    Regina v. Her Majesty's Coroner for the Western District of Somerset (Respondent) and another (Appellant) ex parte Middleton (FC) (Respondent)—The petition of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission praying for leave to intervene in the said appeal was presented and referred to an Appeal Committee.

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    THURSDAY 9 OCTOBER 2003

    Regina v. Her Majesty's Coroner for the Western District of Somerset (Respondent) and another (Appellant) ex parte Middleton (FC) (Respondent)—That the petition of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission that they might be heard or otherwise intervene in the said appeal be allowed to the extent that they may lodge written submissions only.

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    WEDNESDAY 26 NOVEMBER 2003

    Appeal Committees—Two Appeal Committees were appointed pursuant to Standing Order.

    Appellate Committees—Two Appellate Committees were appointed pursuant to Standing Order.

    ____________________

    MONDAY 26 JANUARY 2004

    Regina v. Her Majesty's Coroner for the Western District of Somerset (Respondent) and another (Appellant) ex parte Middleton (FC) (Respondent)—The petition of the Coroners' Society of England and Wales praying for leave to intervene in the said appeal was presented and referred to an Appeal Committee.

    ____

    WEDNESDAY 28 JANUARY 2004

    Regina v. Her Majesty's Coroner for the Western District of Somerset (Respondent) and another (Appellant) ex parte Middleton (FC) (Respondent)—That the petition of the Coroners' Society of England and Wales that they might be heard or otherwise intervene in the said appeal be allowed to the extent that they may lodge written submissions only.

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APPENDIX II
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
MONDAY 2 FEBRUARY 2004
Present:
L. Bingham of CornhillB. Hale of Richmond
L. Lord Hope of CraigheadL. Carswell
L. Walker of Gestinghorpe 
The Lord Bingham of Cornhill in the Chair.

    The Orders of Reference are read.

    The Committee deliberate.

    Counsel and Parties are called in.

      Mr J. Crow and Mr R. Singh QC appear for the appellant.

      Mr B. Emmerson QC, Mr P. Weatherby and Mr D. Friedman appear for the respondent   Middleton.

      Mr H. Mercer and Mr R. Eaton appear for the respondent Her Majesty's Coroner for the   Western District of Somerset.

    Mr Crow heard.

    Mr Mercer heard.

    In part heard and adjourned until tomorrow.

TUESDAY 3 FEBRUARY 2004
Present:
L. Bingham of CornhillB. Hale of Richmond
L. Lord Hope of CraigheadL. Carswell
L. Walker of Gestinghorpe 
The Lord Bingham of Cornhill in the Chair.

    The Order of Adjournment is read.

    The proceedings of yesterday are read.

    The Committee deliberate.

    Counsel and Parties are again called in.

    Mr Mercer further heard.

    Mr Emmerson heard.

    Further heard and adjourned until tomorrow.

WEDNESDAY 4 FEBRUARY 2004
Present:
L. Bingham of CornhillB. Hale of Richmond
L. Lord Hope of CraigheadL. Carswell
L. Walker of Gestinghorpe 
The Lord Bingham of Cornhill in the Chair.

    The Order of Adjournment is read.

    The proceedings of yesterday are read.

    The Committee deliberate.

    Counsel and Parties are again called in.

    Mr Emmerson further heard.

    Mr Crow heard in reply.

    Further and fully heard.

    Bar cleared; and the Committee deliberate.

    A draft Report is laid before the Committee by the Lord Bingham of Cornhill.

    The Report is considered and agreed to unanimously.

    Ordered, That the Lord Bingham of Cornhill do make the Report to the House.

    

 
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