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Results of coronial reform have been underwhelming

Changes such as appointing a chief coroner and setting a six-month completion deadline have yet to benefit grieving relatives, explains Tom Gough

3 February 2016

The Ministry of Justice recently carried out a consultation on the impact of reforms to the coronial justice system implemented in 2013. The Coroners (Inquest) Rules 2013 (the Rules 2013) and Coroners (Investigations) Regulations 2013 built on the changes in the Coroners and Justice Act 2009.

While there has been some improvement, sadly the changes have not yet achieved their aim of creating a more efficient and supportive process for the bereaved family.

Postmortems

Part 3 of the Coroners (Investigations) Regulations 2013 set out to improve the use and function of postmortem examinations. In 2013, then Justice Minister Simon Hughes was working with the chief coroner to try to reduce the time taken to carry out postmortems. Many families and religious groups were frustrated at the time taken in some cases for postmortems to be completed and for bodies to be rel...

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