Concerns and complaints about coroners

What to do if you are concerned about a coroner’s decision

The coroners’ service is a local service funded and each individual coroner area is administered by a relevant local authority. Coroners, like all judges, are independent. This independence means that the Chief Coroner has no power to review, investigate, comment on, or otherwise intervene in the individual judicial decisions of coroners, or in the case management of individual cases.

Parliament has not put in place a statutory appeal process for challenging coroner decisions. There is no automatic right of appeal to the Chief Coroner. The route to challenge the judicial decisions of coroners is by way of judicial review in the High Court, where a senior Judge can review the lawfulness of a decision taken. It is a review of the way the decision was made, rather than the rights and wrongs of the conclusion reached, and the judicial review usually must be carried out within three months of the original decision. If you wish to explore this avenue, you should speak to a lawyer. Read more information on judicial review (external link).

What to do if you have a complaint about the personal conduct of a coroner

The Chief Coroner cannot investigate any matters relating to the personal conduct of a judicial office holder. Like all judges, that is a matter for the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO). You can contact them via the JCIO website (external link).