Court of Appeal has allowed the Coroner’s appeal in Birmingham Pub Bombings Inquests

28 September 2018

The Court of Appeal has allowed the Coroner’s appeal and refused the Respondents’ application for permission to cross appeal in relation to the decision of the Divisional Court in R (Hambleton) v The Coroner for the Birmingham Inquests. Jeremy Johnson QC and Robert Cohen appeared for the Chief Constable of West Midlands Police in the Court of Appeal.

The Coroner had ruled that the investigation into the identity of the suspected perpetrators (the so-called “perpetrator issue”) would not fall within the scope of the inquest. That decision was quashed by the Divisional Court. They held that the Coroner had not asked himself the correct question. The bereaved families had also argued that the police investigations to date did not satisfy the procedural duty arising under Article 2 ECHR because they had not been suitably effective or independent (‘the Article 2 issue’), but this argument was rejected by the High Court.

The Coroner appealed against the decision to quash his ruling and the respondents applied for permission to cross appeal in relation to the Court’s conclusion on the Article 2 issue. The Chief Constable made submissions in the Court of Appeal in opposition to the proposed cross appeal.

The Lord Chief Justice held that the Coroner’s original decision had been correct and ruled that the perpetrator issue was not a central question for the inquest. The Court also refused the application for permission to cross appeal noting that the fact that extensive criminal investigations had not delivered convictions for the bombings did not begin to establish that proper investigations had not been carried out.

The judgment can be viewed here

See also news coverage:


Sky News





Robert Cohen

Call 2009

Related areas

Police Law


Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and event updates.



16 April 2024

Chambers is delighted to announce that Head of Chambers, Jason Beer KC is one of only…

Discover more

14 February 2022

The first hearings of the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry commenced today.  Previously a non-statutory…

Discover more

19 December 2023

A message from Head of Chambers, Jason Beer KC, looking back at the past 12…

Discover more

Portfolio Builder

Select the practice areas that you would like to download or add to the portfolio

Download    Add to portfolio   
Title Type CV Email

Remove All


Click here to share this shortlist.
(It will expire after 30 days.)