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Coronors Amendment Bill

The aim of this Bill is to amend the Coroners Act 2006 (the Act) to:

  • “improve the quality, consistency, and timeliness of coronial investigations and decision making;
  • “clarify the role of coroners and reduce duplication between coroners and other authorities that investigate deaths and accidents;
  • “clarify the role coroners have in making recommendations to prevent future deaths and the relationship with agencies that have policy and operational responsibility in those areas;
  • “ensure resources are used effectively.” [1] 

Main Provisions or amendments include:

Section 3 of the Act provides that ‘help to achieve its purpose, that Act, inter alia,  ‘recognise’ both:

  • the cultural and spiritual needs of family of, and of others who were in a close relationship to, a person who has died; and
  • the public good associated with a proper and timely understanding of the causes and circumstances of deaths.”

The Bill replaces this provision with the following:

“the making of recommendations or comments that, if drawn to public attention, may reduce the chances of further deaths occurring in circumstances similar to those in which the deaths occurred” (Part 1, Subpart 1, Clause 4, amending Section 3 of the Act (the “purpose clause”) by substituting subsection (1)(b)).

Other provisions include:

  • Functions of the chief coroner
  • Duty to report deaths
  • Coroner must give interested parties notice of significant matters
  • Coroner may direct a post-mortem
  • Coroner’s jurisdiction to open inquiries
  • Publication of details of self-inflicted deaths
  • Practice notes

Feedback Due: Please send comments to Leanne Manson: by 20 March 2015

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