The latest update: URGENT APPEAL: 21 Feb 2019
The Legal Aid Agency have made it known that they are discriminating against us, using the excuse that because our legal team, KRW LAW LLP is based in Belfast that we are not entitled to the same level of legal aid as those in England or Wales, even thought the Government amended the law in 2017, so that KRW LAW were able to apply for a special Legal Aid certificate to act on our behalf. As such, we have a huge shortfall in our legal funds and are in desperate need of £60,000 within the next 3 weeks. Our Inquest begins on Monday 25 February 2019.
Our inquest is Article 2 compliant (Right to Life) this means that the government should provide the families with sufficient funds so that we are able to 'effectively participate', which we now discover will not be possible. The LAA have only given us fund for 1 QC and 1 Junior. When you compare that to the Coroner's legal team 2 QCs, 3 Juniors & an army of solicitors (all in the court room) and the same level of legal representation will be afforded to MI5, MI6, Ministry of Defence, West Midlands Police, Devon & Cornwall Police and the Emergency Services - all of which WE, the taxpayers, will be paying for, you can see the utter inequality of funds and justice.
If you would like to help us in our plight for truth, justice & accountability we would be very grateful indeed. As such, please click on this link where you can make a donation of what ever you can afford. Thank YOU very much!
On behalf of all our families, we would like to wish ALL of our fantastic supporters & campaigners a Very Merry Christmas & a Prosperous & Peaceful New Year.
Without you all, we would not be where we are today. Please continue to spread the word about our plight for Truth, Justice & Accountability!
We are due in court on Tuesday 18 December 2018 10am at Bull Street, Birmingham for another preliminary hearing and also for another hearing on 17 January 2019 at 10am at the same venue.
The inquest is due to begin in February. The date is yet to be confirmed.
For & on behalf of:
Desmond William Reilly 20 - Eugene Thomas Reilly 23
Trevor George Thrupp 33 - John Rowlands 46
Stanley James Bodman 47 - John ‘Cliff’ Jones 51
Jane Elizabeth Davis 17 Charles Harper Grey 44 Anne Hayes 19
Neil Robert Marsh 16 Paul Anthony Davies 17
James Frederick Caddick 40 Thomas Frederick Chaytor 28
Jimmy Craig 34 Lynn Jane Bennett 18
Marilyn Paula Nash 22 Maureen Anne Roberts 20
Michael William Beasley 30 Pamela Joan Palmer 19
Stephen John Whalley 21 Maxine Hambleton 18
PRESS RELEASE JUSTICE FOR THE 21 (J4THE21) BIRMINGHAM PUB BOMBINGS 1974 - FAMILIES OF THE VICTIMS MEET POLITICANS AT STORMONT 4 th July 2018 (15:30hrs) Earlier today representatives from J4the21, the campaign group representing the families of the victims of The Birmingham Pub Bombings 1974, met the leader of the DUP, Arlene Foster MLA, and will meet shortly with the leader of Sinn Féin, Michelle O’Neill MLA. The content of the discussions of these meetings is confidential. J4the21 considered it necessary to travel from Birmingham to Belfast to meet with the leaders of the two main political parties in order to convey how we have been excluded from the process for Dealing with the Past and the Legacy of the Conflict in Northern Ireland. J4the21 are at Stormont because our loved ones cannot be, we are their voice in what we now understand is a protracted, contentious process that Dealing with the Legacy of the Past in Northern Ireland has become. Myth, rumour and unhelpful speculation will abound and attach itself to our loved one’s murders unless we deal with these rumours and suspicions in our generational life time. We cannot allow rumours and myth to poison future generations and cause perpetual trauma to our families. Now is the time to deal with these difficult issues and we will not allow these issues to be passed on to another generation. Our demand is simple: that we have access to a human rights compliant mechanism to establish how and in what circumstances our loved ones died, without having to continually be campaigning for access to truth, justice and accountability which adds to our continuing trauma and causes further deep hurt and insult. The day that the State allows impunity for murder by preventing its citizens from accessing such a truth seeking process on behalf of their loved ones is a dangerous day for a democratic society. We therefore have engaged today in discussions in a spirit that we may get some measure of assistance in our quest for a human rights compliant investigatory mechanism into how and why our loved ones died. ENDS
We are due in the Court of Appeal in London on 17 July 2018 - 10:00am.
This is where the Coroner is appealing against the two High Court Judges who found in our favour when we judicially reviewed the Coroner's decision to exclude the perpetrators from the inquest. We decided to JR the Coroner on his decision, because we could not, in all good conscience allow him to exclude the bomb makers, bomb planters & their associates from not being part of the inquest.
16 June 2018
On Saturday 16 June 2018 one of our super hero's WALKED from Preston to Birmingham (106 Miles) to help raise our profile and much needed funds for our campaign, after we have been refused legal aid SIX times.
Ian has a justgiving page still open if you would like to show your support for his monumental fete that he has accomplished on behalf of the twenty-one that are not here to fight for justice themselves.
We would like to publically Thank Ian for what he has done for all our families. He is a normal law abiding, tax paying ex Sapper, that has come to the aid of our loved ones. God Bless him & everyone out there!
4 August 2017
Please Help Us to Challenge the Coroner's decision to Exclude the murderers from the Inquest. THEY MUST be part of the scope to enable us to have a full and transparent Inquest!
Please donate whatever you can afford via this link
On behalf of ALL the Justice4the21 families THANK YOU!
Latest News: New 21-Today album available
(A compilation two CD set of 21 songs specially donated by Birmingham and Midlands musicians).
Why the Home Secretary MUST resolve the pub bombs inquest funding debacle
Ball is firmly back in Amber Rudd's court - lawyer
The battle by Birmingham pub bombing families for inquest funding to pay for lawyers looks set to remain unresolved as we move into 2017. Here KRW LAW LLP Litigation Consultant Christopher Stanley explains why - and says the ball is firmly back in the court of Home Secretary Amber Rudd who must resolve this “untenable situation.”
Two years ago in December 2014, Julie Hambleton and her mother Margaret, travelled to Belfast.
This law firm is unique in Northern Ireland in that it has a dedicated Legacy Litigation department consisting of 10 dedicated staff working on behalf of relatives and victims of the conflict in Northern Ireland.
Julie and her mum were in Belfast seeking advice as to how to make progress in understanding why Julie’s sister and Margaret’s daughter, Maxine, was killed together with 20 others in the Birmingham pub bombings, 40 years before.
Until going to Belfast Julie and her family – and the other families of the victims – had been ignored and forgotten. No one had offered them any support, either at the time or subsequently when the Birmingham Six were freed on appeal in 1991.
Despite the work of the Justice for the 21 campaign, the West Midlands Police either ignored them or patronised them.
Pictures of some of those who were killed 42 years ago.
Since instructing KRW LAW LLP Julie and her family and eight other families who lost loved ones on November 21, 1974, huge progress has been made.
An application to resume the original inquests was made to the Attorney General resulting in the Senior Coroner for Birmingham and Solihull holding a series of hearings this year culminating in her decision that she had both the power to resume the original inquests, that she had sufficient reason to do so and that the inquests should be compliant with human rights standards.
Last month the former Chief Coroner of England and Wales, Peter Thornton QC, held the first in a series of hearings which will lead to the resumption of the inquests in 2017.
This will be the first and last time that an independent investigation into all the surrounding circumstances of the Birmingham Pub Bombings will be possible and will enable the relatives of the victims to participate and assist the Coroner in his investigation.
We know that West Midlands Police (WMP), Devon and Cornwall Police, the Police Federation, the Home Office, the Foreign Office and the Ministry of Defence are Interested Persons to the inquests and are represented by barristers paid for by taxpayers money – in the case of the WMP the council tax of the those relatives of the victims seeking truth, justice and accountability. The Police Federation legal team will be paid for by retired police officers subscriptions.
KRW LAW LLP continue to represent their clients free of charge. At the last hearing they were unable to instruct counsel because of the on-going costs being borne by them.
This was noted by the Coroner and he made it clear he supported the families’ application for public funding for their legal representation into order for them to effectively participate in this long, complex and sensitive legal process.
The families are clear in their instructions that they want KRW LAW LLP to continue to represent them – the family of Pamela Palmer instructed KRW LAW LLP after the last hearing with full knowledge of the impasse regarding funding.
As 2016 comes to a close – with much achieved by Justice for the 21 and their legal team – funding is still not in place.
KRW LAW LLP have been confronted with the obstacle that since they do not practice in England and Wales they cannot be a given a contract for legal aid in order to apply for legal aid funding for their clients.
Talks between KRW LAW LLP and two English law firms with legal aid contracts have not resulted in a business agreement by which KRW could operate an agent in England.
Both firms have concluded that such an arrangement is not workable given the amount of work already undertaken by KRW and the difficulties that would be involved in securing compliance with the stipulations of a legal aid contract.
KRW have suggested they register to practice in England and apply for a legal aid contract. The LAA have said this is not possible as there are no public tenders out for legal aid contracts. KRW remain open to continued negotiations with the LAA and other government agencies.
KRW have updated both the Coroner and the Home Secretary on the current impasse.
The Home Secretary, in her letter to Julie Hambleton of September 23 2016, said that a Hillsborough-style bespoke funding pot was not acceptable whilst legal aid remained a possibility.
KRW have now said to the Home Secretary that legal aid, from their position, is not possible.
It is back to the Home Secretary now to resolve this untenable situation with anxious scrutiny to ensure Justice for the 21 is achieved through the legal team they continue to instruct.
The next Preliminary Hearing is due to take place 23 February 2017, at the Coroner's Court building, Bull Street, Birmingham.
Justice4the21 would like to thank the Chief Coroner Peter Thornton QC and Senior Coroner Mrs Louise Hunt for their time, respect and professionalism during this momentous year.
On Wednesday June 1st 2016, Mrs Hunt decided that she did have the authority to resume the Birmingham Pub Bombings Inquest and that she had reasons to do so.
We would like to thank ALL those who have supported our campaign across the years. Without each and everyone of you, our campaign would not be where it is today.
In particular those who took time out of their own lives to help us collect signatures in the cold, those who helped design this website, the Birmingham Mail, BBC, ITV and of course our legal team KRW LAW LLP.
We have been truly humbled by the support from home, far and wide. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you all!