The role of the NSW Coroner is to investigate certain deaths, fires and explosions. Some of the primary issues for coronial inquests in relation to a death include:
- identification of the deceased person, and
- identification of the cause and manner of death.
The current Office of the State Coroner of New South Wales started in 1988 after Coroner’s Courts having many other local offices. For many years Westmead and Glebe were the chief Coroner’s Courts locations.
The Coroner’s Court is now at the Forensic Medicine and Coroners Court complex in Lidcombe.
When will you need a Coroner’s Court lawyer?
It is advisable that you seek legal advice and representation if, for example:
- you are the family of the deceased person;
- you have gotten notification by the Registry of the Coroner’s Court that your interests may be adversely affected by the proceedings; or
- the Registry of the Coroner’s Court notifies you that you might be the subject of criticism in the course of the proceedings.
If any of the above apply to you, it is likely that the Court will provide you with a copy of the brief. The Court will also give you the opportunity to identify issues that you wish the coroner to consider. Additionally, you can identify witnesses that you wish the coroner to call. A lawyer can assist and advise you in relation to this process.
If you give evidence, you may be at risk of incriminating yourself. Note that the coroner cannot find you guilty of a crime. However, he or she can make a referral to the Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
If you have received notification by the Registry of the Coroner’s Court that your interests may suffer adverse affects, it is strongly advisable that you seek legal representation. The decision whether to give evidence or object on the ground of self-incrimination is a delicate one. Your legal representative will protect your interests at the proceedings. O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors provides these services.
If you have any concerns about a Coroner’s Court hearing, then contact us.