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Diana’s jury

Last week's surprising high court ruling on the Diana inquest could have implications that extend way beyond one case

By Ian Caplin   March 2007

Last week the high court ordered that the inquest into the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al-Fayed should be held with a jury, reversing the ruling of Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, sitting as the deputy coroner. Should we care? Actually, yes. Few noticed the proposition advanced by their lordships: that, in the eyes of English law, the paparazzi on wheels are a threat to public health and safety.

It had been thought that the decision of whether to proceed with a jury should be at the discretion of Butler-Sloss. But it emerged that the baroness’s legal analysis was…

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