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Sudden Death and the Coroner
CORONER'S POST MORTEM AND INQUESTS

Booklet content © Victims Voice 2002                             Web design © Tim Finucane 2009

16. Can questions be asked at an inquest?

 

Certain relatives, and other properly interested persons,  are entitled by law to ask relevant questions of any witnesses called to give evidence, or a solicitor or barrister may ask questions for you. A coroner will not allow questions that are not relevant and will advise witnesses that they need not to reply to questions, if the answers may incriminate them.

 

Coroners will not usually provide copies of witness statements or other evidence before an inquest and it is difficult to know what questions to ask. It is very stressful for bereaved people to try to follow inquest hearings, ask questions and make notes. Inquest records are not usually verbatim records and are often unsatisfactory; you should consider legal advice and representation, particularly if criminal charges or civil proceedings (for compensation) are likely. (Sections 20 & 21)

 

 

 

 

 

10  Includes parent, child, spouse, their legal representatives and representatives

      of insurers, public agencies, police and potential defendants. From 1 June

      2005, the interpretation of relative will include a partner in an ‘enduring family

      relationship’.

 

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