The main duty of a coroner is to enquire into sudden or unexplained deaths, usually in the form of a post-mortem examination.
The examination is followed by an inquest if the cause of death is not natural.
When a person dies in certain circumstances, this has to be investigated in a specific way, for example:
- the death of a person in custody
- a death caused by a person's work
A coroner's main responsibilities include:
- holding inquests
- arranging for post mortems to be carried out
- employing any other services, such as funeral directors, as necessary
Coroners must have at least five years' experience as one of the following:
- legally qualified medical practitioner
Coroners' duties and responsibilities have to comply with the Coroners Act 1988.
Coroner's officers can be police officers or civilians.
- receive reports of deaths
- make enquiries on the coroner's behalf
Access further information about coroner services and coroner investigations (GOV.UK).