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Inquests and inquiries

In Queensland, coroners are required to make written findings, where possible, about the identity of the deceased and when, where and how they died and what caused them to die (Section 45 Coroners Act 2003).

Deaths when reportable are usually reported to the coroner by police. When a death is reported, the coroner investigates the death to find out the identity of the deceased person, when and where they died including the medical cause of death.

During the investigation and autopsy, the coroner will take into account personal, cultural and traditional concerns of the family of the deceased. If a coroner decides to hold an inquest, he can make recommendations primarily aimed at preventing similar causes of deaths in the future.

Coroners however are prohibited from making any finding that a person is guilty of an offence or civilly liable. Moreover, their findings cannot be used as evidence in court.

If a person is dissatisfied with the coroner’s findings, they can go before the state coroner or District Court to have the coroner’s findings set aside (Section 50 of the Coroners Act 2003). He or she should fill up Form 21 for such purpose. The state coroner or the District Court can then decide to set aside the finding, or direct that the inquest be reopened or started anew.

Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.

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