The new legal framework implementing changes to Corner’s Courts takes effect from the 26th July 2013. All 96 coroners will be required to follow the same standards.
WHERE TO FIND THE LAW
The law setting out these changes can be found at:-
Coroners and Justice Act 2009
The Coroners and Justice Act 2009 (Commencement No. 15, Consequential and Transitory Provisions) Order 2013
The Coroners (Investigations) Regulations 2013
The Coroners and Justice Act 2009 (Commencement No. 14) Order 2013
The Coroners and Justice Act 2009 (Alteration of Coroner Areas) Order 2013
The Coroners and Justice Act 2009 (Coroner Areas and Assistant Coroners) Transitional Order 2013
The Coroners (Inquests) Rules 2013
The Coroners Allowances, Fees and Expenses Regulations 2013
The Coroners and Justice Act 2009 (Commencement No. 13) Order 2013
The Coroners and Justice Act 2009 (Commencement No. 12) Order 2013
The Coroners and Justice Act 2009 (Commencement No. 11) Order 2013
The Effect of the Changes
Coroner services will now be overseen by the first Chief Coroner of England and Wales, His Honour Judge Peter Thornton QC, and will be locally delivered within national standards designed to lead to a more efficient system of investigations and inquests. The new laws come into force on 25 July and mean that coroners will:
- Be able to speed up the release of bodies after post mortem and will be required to notify the deceased’s next of kin or personal representative if the body cannot be released within 28 days.
- Permit less invasive post-mortem examinations.
- Be required to complete inquests within six months of the date on which they are made aware of the death, unless there are good reasons not to.
- Be required to notify those who are bereaved within a week of setting the date for the inquest.
- Have to report any cases that last more than a year to the Chief Coroner, and give reasons for any delays.
- Provide greater access to documents and evidence, such as post-mortem reports, before the inquest takes place, to enable bereaved families to prepare for the hearing.
- Be subject to new training requirements.
A SUMMARY FROM THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE
See https://www.gov.uk/government/news/major-overhaul-of-coroner-services-in-england-and-wales for the Ministry of Justice press release.