WHAT IS A NARRATIVE VERDICT?
Following requests for information from supporters, here is an explanation of narrative verdicts.
Narrative verdicts are a recent extension in the kind of verdicts juries can return at inquest. They were introduced after caselaw interpreted that for inquests that engage article 2 of the Human Rights Act (the right to life), short form verdicts such as ‘unlawful’ or ‘lawful’ may not always be enough to satisfy the requirements for a full inquiry. All deaths in custody and at deaths at the hands of state agents fall under Article 2 of the Human Rights Act.
Narrative verdicts are now quite common in inquests as they give the jury the opportunity to explain, in their own words, their findings on hearing all of the evidence. A narrative can be in the form of questions which the jury have to answer, or a more free form where the jury can put their verdict in their own words.
Examples of narrative verdicts:
Only last month, the inquest into the death in police custody of Mark Camm delivered a 7 page highly critical narrative verdict
The inquest into the death of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed also delivered a lengthy narrative where the jury were able to put in their own words their comments on the evidence they heard. The narrative verdict in that case is available here.
Labels: General Information