Inquests: In A Timely Manner
6 November 2013 by Amy Burton
It was recently announced that a new code of standards has been brought into force to govern coroners in England & Wales. The code is a result of increasing concerns over lengthy delays in inquests and inconsistencies with the quality of inquests, depending on which part of the country it is being held.
There are currently 96 coroners in England & Wales and all of them will be expected to meet these new standards by undertaking mandatory training. The aim of the new code is to ensure that most inquests are completed within six months.
Coroners are currently funded by Local Authorities and there has been wide spread concern that budget cuts will dramatically impact upon the ability of a coroner to conduct a thorough inquest. The first chief coroner, Judge Peter Thornton QC, hopes that the new code will help alleviate this problem and make inquests a less stressful process for all involved.