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CORONIAL INQUIRIES & INQUESTS

THE HUMAN ELEMENT IN POST-MORTEM MATTERS

A coronial inquest is a public hearing to determine the medical cause of death and the circumstances surrounding the death.

 

The circumstances of one's death is normally a key factor in determining whether a coronial inquest will be held. An inquest is likely to be held into a reportable death if the corner determines it is in the best interest of the public. Other instances that require a coronial inquest by law are when a death has occurred as a result of a police operation, in custody (prison or detention) or in care (mental health facility or nursing home).

Once it has been decided an inquest will take place, a notice will be published. The length of each inquest depends on the complexity of the relevant case.

There are three main stages of a coronial inquest:

  1. Pre-inquest conference

  2. Hearing

  3. Coroner's findings

During the pre-inquest conference, the parties participating and witnesses to be called in the inquest are identified. The location will be confirmed and an expected duration will be estimated. During the hearing, all items of information and evidence are gathered and presented and witnesses are called. These witnesses may be a family member, expert or have been present at the death. Once the hearing is complete, the coroner will complete their findings.

Not all circumstances require a lawyer for this certain process, however, it. is invaluable to gain legal advice prior to such a foreign environment. Salerno Law has demonstrated experience in appearing at and advising clients in relation to coronial inquests. This includes acting in relation to the tragic death of Private Jason Challis at the Mount Bundey Training Area and also numerous inquests involving some aviation-related deaths and workplace deaths.

Alternatively, if you have questions surrounding the death of a relative or loved one, don't hesitate to contact one of our committed criminal lawyers at Salerno Law. Our experienced practitioners provide our clients, both in Australia and internationally, cost-effective results in criminal law cases. Salerno Law operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so you can reach an expert when you need one.