Undercover Policing Inquiry considers duty to inform bereaved families whether or not the identity of their deceased child was used by undercover police officers


On 22 June 2016, the Chairman of the Undercover Policing Inquiry,  Sir Christopher Pitchford,  heard argument as to whether there was a duty to inform families whether or not their deceased child’s identity had been appropriated by undercover police officers to construct cover identities, without their knowledge or consent.  On behalf of concerned parents, Barbara Shaw, Gordon Peters and an anonymised applicant, RDCA it was submitted that a free-standing duty to inform them arose under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. 


The argument also concerned the nature of the Article 8 duty and its interrelationship with the Inquiry’s process of determining restriction order applications.  Submissions were advanced in relation to the practical arrangements that should be adopted to discharge the relevant duties including the need to advertise so that concerned family members might make themselves known to the Inquiry, the means by which concerned families might be reassured if their child’s identity had not in fact been used and the arrangements for prior notification of close relatives when the appropriation of their loved one’s identity was likely to enter the public domain in consequence of the work of the Inquiry.


Press coverage in the Guardian is available here.


Mrs Shaw, Mr Peters and RDCA were represented by Heather Williams QC leading Fiona Murphy both of Doughty Street Chambers, instructed by Jules Carey of Bindman & Partners.

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