Coroners should remain free to make appropriate orders due to their unique role and new legislation should strengthen their powers. Simon Jackson QC reports
The principal problem in relation to disclosure in the coroners’ court, is that there is no clear framework set out in the Coroners Rules 1984 (SI no 552) – although we shall have to wait and see what the new rules and regulations provide for when the recently published draft Coroner Reform Bill becomes law.
There is still no substantive duty upon a coroner to give pre-inquest disclosure in respect of any inquest held (see R v HM Coroner at Hammersmith, ex p Peach  QB 21) and so the practice for giving such disclosure, which has developed since this decision, is rather more intangible and ad hoc, as compared to the equivalent regimes for disclosure in either the criminal or civil courts. It must be remembered, howev...