The Coroners Court is established by the Coroners Law (1995 Revision). Under the Law, each of the Magistrates is a Coroner and may undertake the duties and responsibilities set out in the Law.
A Coroner inquires into certain deaths, primarily those where the death was violent or sudden.
When the Coroner becomes aware of a death (usually through a report from the RCIPS) and is satisfied that there is reasonable cause to suspect that the death was either a violent or unnatural death, or a sudden death of which the cause has not been medically determined, or that the deceased died in prison, then the Coroner must hold an inquest.
Every inquest is presided over by a Coroner sitting with a jury of seven members.
The inquest is directed solely to identify:
- who the deceased was
- how, when and where he or she died
- the medical cause of death
- the particulars required by the Births and Deaths Registration Law (2007 Revision) for the death to be registered
New Coroners Rules 2014 come into effect on 1 December 2014 replacing the Coroners Rules (1996 Revision). There is also an Explanatory Memorandum and Guidelines to the Coroners Rules 2014.
These can be accessed here.(registration required).