Attorney-General gives permission for an application for a fresh inquest into air pollution

The Attorney-General has granted the family of Ella Kissi-Debrah a fiat to apply to the High Court, under section 13 of the Coroners Act 1988, for a fresh inquest into her death, to investigate whether air pollution played a role in it.

Ella died from Asthma aged 9. The original inquest did not consider the role of air pollution in Ella’s death. However, fresh evidence indicated that unlawful levels of air pollution contributed to her death. Ella’s family made an application to the Attorney-General, arguing that a fresh inquest is necessary to examine whether there has been a failure by the government to tackle unlawful air pollution, which was connected to Ella’s death and which puts others at risk of deaths in future. She drew attention to evidence that unlawful air pollution has been estimated to cause 40,000 early deaths each year in the United Kingdom. She argued that the procedural duty in article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights required an investigation of this. The Mayor of London supported her application, and her mother obtained a petition of over 100,000 signatures in support of it.

As a result of the Attorney-General’s decision, an application will now be made to the High Court.

Ella’s family are represented by Adam Straw and Angela Patrick, instructed by Jocelyn Cockburn of Hodge Jones & Allen solicitors.

Relevant media can be found here.