An Introduction to Coronial Practice & Decision Making - 8 Essential Online Modules
This series of 8 online modules is an introduction to coronial law and practice.
The series will cover the key elements to the decision making process and the Chief Coroner’s guidance which underpins the inquest system.
What You Will Learn
The modules covered are as follows:
Module 1 - The Report and Subsequent Investigation
This module will cover the initial decision making of a working coroner, how an inquest is decided on and how investigations take place.
- Chief Coroner’s Guidance No. 28 - expedited decision making
- R (Adath Yisroel Burial Society) v Senior Coroner for Inner North London 
- Appropriate representations
- What may happen in practice
Module 2 - The Hearings and How They Are Constructed
This module will cover the run up to an inquest and what you can expect in practice.
- Chief Coroner’s Guidance No 9 - opening inquests
- Chief Coroner’s Guidance No 22 - pre-inquest review hearings
- Chief Coroner’s Guidance No 12 - the inquest check list
Module 3 - Juries - When and How They Are Managed in the Coronial Jurisdiction
Juries are a difficult aspect of the coronial jurisdiction. How they are managed is key to understanding them and this module will consider:
- Chief Coroner’s Guidance No 10 - warnings to juries
- Chief Coroner’s Guidance No 27 - jury irregularities
- Opening and closing to a jury
Module 4 - The Conclusions
Ultimately, the outcome is the significant part of any inquest and this module will show the coroner who may be torn between clarity and completeness. It will also cover recent changes in respect of suicide.
- Chief Coroner’s Guidance No 17 - short-form and narrative verdicts
- Unlawful killings
- Suicide and the changing standard of proof
Module 5 - Matters to be Left to the Jury
This module will focus on the legal tests and directions that a coroner will give to the jury.
- Galbraith Plus
- Hearsay in the coronial context
Module 6 - Disclosure
What the coroner actually hands over to the parties in an inquest is subject to a number of legal considerations. Parties are often reluctant to hand material up to the Coroner but in reality what power is there to say no?
- The Worcestershire Case
- Legal professional privilege
Module 7 - Discretion of the Coroner
Whilst the discretion of the coroner is very wide ranging, as an advocate you will want to know how in reality that discretion can be challenged. This module will consider the process and what you may have to prove to achieve a successful judicial review.
- Law Sheet No 5
- Judicial review
Module 8 - Article 2 and the Admitted Failing
What does the Tainton case really mean? Does it mean the inclusion of matter which did not cause the death in the conclusion about the death? This module aims to answer that question.
- The Tainton Case