When a person dies apparently from non-natural causes or where the cause of death is not known, a doctor cannot issue a death certificate and the coroner must be advised.
An inquest is a court hearing which is usually open to the public. During an inquest, witnesses are called to give evidence to enable the coroner to make a finding into a death. Family of the deceased and people interested in the circumstances of a death may, at the coroner's discretion, ask questions of witnesses or be represented by another person.
In recognition of the difficult and often painful circumstances that bring people into contact with the Coroner's Court, a Coronial Counselling Service has been established.
More information is available on the Coroner's Court website.
Last updated: 18-Feb-2013
[ back to top ]