The Coroners Court is made up of the Chief Coroner and up to 20 coroners, with support from the Coronial Services Unit at the Ministry of Justice.

The Coroners Court is governed by the Coroners Act 2006. The Coroners Act 2006:

  • appointed a Chief Coroner and up to 20 legally qualified full-time coroners 
  • set up the Coronial Services Unit within the Ministry of Justice
  • clarified the way coroners and other agencies investigate unexpected deaths 
  • made training across the country more consistent 
  • improved timeliness and standardised our procedures 
  • stipulated which deaths must be reported to the coroner 
  • ensured we recognise the cultural and spiritual needs of the dead person’s families 
  • improved ways of dealing with inquiries and inquests
  • gave the public better access to information.
  • What a coroner does

    Police always inform a coroner when someone dies unexpectedly, violently or in suspicious circumstances.

  • Chief Coroner & coroners

    Coroners are like judges. They are qualified lawyers appointed as judicial officers to look into unexpected, violent or suspicious deaths to find out what happened.

  • Coronial Services

    Coronial Services is part of the Ministry of Justice.

  • Practice notes

    The Chief Coroner issues practice notes to inform coroners and to achieve consistency in coronial decision-making and other coronial conduct.

  • Concurrent office or employment protocol

    This is the protocol to be followed by a coroner in conducting their personal and extrajudicial activities to minimise the risk of conflict with the obligations and performance of judicial office.

  • Recusal guidelines

    The recusal guidelines have been developed by the chief coroner, in consultation with the Attorney-General, pursuant to s107A of the Coroners Act 2006, to assist coroners to decide if they should recuse themselves from an inquiry.

  • Request information

    You might be able to request information from individual coronial case files, or statistical data about coronial cases.

  • Report a death

    To report an unexpected, violent or suspicious death or get advice from a coroner, contact the National Initial Investigation Office (NIIO).

  • Declaring a missing person legally dead

    The High Court or a coroner can declare a person legally dead if they’ve gone missing.

  • Finding human bones

    If you find bones that you think may be human, leave the bones in place and tell the police.

  • Sudden death from genetic heart disorder

    When a heart muscle problem is found, up to half of family members will be expected to carry the same gene. Once doctors identify people at risk, they can be helped.

  • Forms

    Coronial request and application forms.

  • Annual Reports

    Coronial Services annual reports.

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