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Bill to improve the coronial system introduced

Bill to improve the coronial system introduced

Courts Minister Chester Borrows today introduced a Coroners Amendment Bill to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the coronial system.

“Coroners have an important and difficult job to do, and I am pleased to introduce legislation that better supports their role”, says Mr Borrows.

The Bill makes several changes following a targeted review of the Coroners Act 2006, giving effect to policy changes announced last year. The reforms focus on improving public safety, reducing unnecessary reporting of deaths, and speeding up the process to make things easier on families.

“Good progress has been made in improving the coronial system since the current Act was passed in 2006, and the system is working well in many respects”, says Mr Borrows.

“However, discussions with coroners, families and other participants such as pathologists and funeral directors identified opportunities to improve timeliness and efficiency and better support grieving families.”

The Bill amends the Coroners Act to:
· improve the quality, consistency and timeliness of coronial investigations

· clarify the role of the coroner in making recommendations to prevent future deaths, and the relationship with relevant agencies that can contribute to evidence during investigations and help develop robust, workable recommendations

· make better use of resources, for example by reducing duplication between coroners and other authorities that investigate deaths and accidents.

The Bill will also improve and clarify the law on what details can be made public about a suicide. The Government has accepted the Law Commission’s recommendations on suicide reporting, released in April, to revise current reporting restrictions to focus on the details most likely to cause harm if made public.


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