The coroner's service

The role of a coroner is to get involved when someone has died through tragic or unexplained circumstances, establishing certain details surrounding their death. Find out more about their role, current and upcoming inquests and how to contact the service.

Reporting a death to the coroner

A death may be reported to the coroner when: 

  • the death was unexplained or where there are suspicious circumstances, or when the cause of death is unknown

  • the death may be due to an industrial injury or disease, or due to an accident, violence, negligence or abortion, or to any kind of poisoning

  • the death occurred in police custody, in prison or in an institution of some type

  • the deceased has not been attended to by a doctor during their last illness, or when the doctor attending the deceased did not see them within 14 days before death or after death

  • the death occurred during an operation or before recovery from the effect of an anaesthetic

Who can report a death to the coroner

A death occurring in any of the above circumstances is usually reported to the coroner by the police, or by a doctor called to the death. It may also be reported by a doctor who was treating the deceased if the death was unexpected. 

Anyone can report a death to the coroner including family members or a registrar.

Once any death has been reported to the coroner, a registrar cannot register the death until the coroner's enquiries or investigations have been completed.