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Bereaved families deserve justice for loved ones

Sophie Khan welcomes the first Chief Coroner of England and Wales, but will coroners implement his call for swifter, transparent decisions?

2 November 2012

In September 2012, Judge Peter Thornton QC (pictured) took up his appointment as the first Chief Coroner of England and Wales. At the Howard League of Penal Reform - Parmoor Lecture on 25 October 2012 he set out his vision for a new coronial system in which he plans to place families at the heart of the process and ‘justice’ as the theme of his reform.

These changes will not just be welcomed by bereaved families but by their legal representatives who have been calling for greater accountability in the inquest procedure for years.

The new status quo of a “more flexible, more alive to the needs of the bereaved, more open and transparent” system will improve the way that inquests are conducted and mark a new standard in the deliverance of justice for the public.

The purpose of a 21st century coronial system will also place coroners under a stat...

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