Magazine article Public Finance

Harman Launches Coroner Revamp

Magazine article Public Finance

Harman Launches Coroner Revamp

Article excerpt

The coroners system in England and Wales is to be overhauled in a bid to make it more sympathetic to the concerns of bereaved families.

Under changes proposed on June 12, relatives of the deceased will be able to ask the coroner for a second opinion on a death certificate as well as challenging a coroners decision by appealing to a new chief coronet

The draft Bill will see the service transformed from one staffed by 111 part-time coroners to one served by 65 full-time professionals, backed by established national standards and leadership.

The coroners system has been largely unreformed since 1887 and bereaved families have criticised proceedings as impersonal and intimidating.

Publishing the Bill, constitutional affairs minister Harriet Harman said: 'There are many coroners and coroner's officers dedicated to their work, but the system in which they work must be improved. This new law will ensure that the public interest is served by proper inquiries into deaths and that the bereaved get the answers they need."

André Rebello, coroner for the City of Liverpool, said investment and reform were long overdue. …

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