MoJ launches consultation on reforms to coroners' system PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 11 March 2010 12:07

The Ministry of Justice this week launched a consultation on reforms to the coroners’ system that would make it easier to transfer inquests between different coroner areas and see the introduction of a national appeals system.

The consultation, which relates to changes brought in under the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, also seeks views on:

  • The appointment of a chief coroner and national leadership team
  • Ensuring that bereaved family members have the right to request information which is being used by coroners to make their decisions
  • Ensuring that inquests answer the questions of bereaved families as well as possible, and
  • Improving standards and ensuring consistency across the country.

The consultation aims to clarify which deaths need to be reported to coroners, establish the criteria for allowing cases to be transferred, and consider giving wider powers to coroners to compel evidence to be given or produced.

Responses to the consultation will inform the development of secondary legislation and guidance, with a view to the new system coming into force in April 2012.

Justice Minister Bridget Prentice said: “These reforms will remove inconsistencies, placing the needs of the bereaved at the centre of the process, and ensuring that everyone involved in the investigation is clear about their rights and responsibilities.”

The consultation closes on 1 July 2010.