The Coroner’s and Justice Act post implementation
The Government has announced that His Honour Judge Peter Thornton QC will become the first Chief Coroner of England and Wales from September. The role had been created by the Labour Government in 2009 through the passing of the Coroner’s and Justice Act 2009. However, the coalition Government initially decided to scrap the role in order to save costs, but reinstated it in November 2011 following opposition from the Royal British Legion who argued that the role was required to improve the handling of Inquests into military deaths.
HHJ Peter Thornton QC has stated that he wants to work towards national consistency of approach and standards between Coroners areas.
Under the present system, there is a great deal of variation as to how Inquests are dealt with in different areas of the country. As well as introducing new national standards, the Chief Coroner will be asked to improve the way bereaved families are dealt with at Inquests.
Clarke Willmott LLP are able to provide specialist Inquest advice and representation to bereaved families. We can also advise in relation to funding arrangements for Inquests, in exceptional cases Public Funding (formerly Legal Aid) may be available.