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Reform of the coroner system

Posted in: Personal Injury Wrongful & Accidental Death 

The Ministry of Justice has announced changes to the coroner system to ensure a much strong focus on supporting bereaved families. The changes will mean that coroners will:

  • be subject to stricter time limits for completing an inquest;
  • have to report any cases that last more than a year to the Chief Coroner;
  • be required to release bodies for funerals within 30 days;
  • provide greater access to materials, such as post-mortem reports, before the inquest takes place;
  • be able to make use of new technologies so that vulnerable witnesses can give evidence via video link;
  • be subject to new mandatory training requirements.

The reforms will also half the time limit (from 56 to 28 days) which organisations have to respond to a coroner report on preventing future deaths (currently known as ‘rule 43 reports’). The proposals are part of a new consultation which sets out the next stage in the Government’s on-going overhaul of the coroner system.

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