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Today sees the implementation of the relevant parts of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 and new coroner Rules and Regulations, introduced by the Ministry of Justice. These provide a new statutory framework for coroner investigations and inquests and give a range of statutory powers to the Chief Coroner, His Honour Judge Peter Thornton QC, to provide leadership to coroners in England and Wales.
The Chief Coroner states:
"I welcome the coroner reforms which come into force today. They will benefit bereaved families across England and Wales who will be the focus of a more efficient, effective and modern coroner service.
"Inquests will be heard earlier, usually within six months. Families will receive information earlier and will have greater access to documents and evidence. Bodies will be released earlier for burial or cremation. Fewer inquests will be needed as a result of early investigation. And there will be a special emphasis upon coroners reporting to prevent future deaths.'
"I will monitor and investigate delays, provide coroners and their officers with compulsory training, give guidance to coroners on practice and the law, overhaul the appointments process, find alternatives to invasive post-mortem examinations, and create a coroner cadre for service deaths abroad."
For further information please visit the Judiciary of England and Wales website.
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