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Chief Coroner’s Guidance, Advice and Law Sheets


The Chief Coroner provides detailed Guidance to coroners on various matters relating to the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, and also occasionally on the law, following an important case.  These are written to assist coroners with the law and their legal duties, and to provide commentary and advice on policy and practice.

The Chief Coroner’s Guide to the Coroners and Justice Act 2009

Guidance No.1 The use of post-mortem imaging (adults)

Guidance No.2 Location of Inquests

Guidance No.3 Oaths and Robes

Guidance No.4 Recordings

Guidance No.5 Reports to Prevent Future Deaths

Guidance No 6 The Appointment of Coroners (Revised March 2020)

Guidance No.7 A Cadre of Coroners for Service Deaths

Guidance No.8 Pre-Signed Forms

Guidance No.9 Opening Inquests

Guidance No.10 Warnings to Juries

Guidance No.11 Juries in Railway Cases (Suicides and Accidents)

Guidance No.12 The Inquest Checklist

Guidance No.13 Family Court Proceedings

Guidance No.14 Mergers of Coroner Areas

Guidance No.15 Apparent Bias

Guidance No.16 Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS)

Guidance No.16A Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) 3 April 2017 onwards

Guidance No.17 Conclusions: Short-form and narrative

Guidance No.18 Section 1(4) Reports: Investigation Without a Body

Guidance No. 19 Mentors

Guidance No. 20 Key Skills for Assistant Coroners

Guidance No. 20A  Key Skills Form

Guidance No.21 Translators and Interpreters

Guidance No.22 Pre-Inquest Review Hearings

Details of when the guidance was revised

Chief Coroner Joint Guidance on Sudden Cardiac Death – Inherited Heart Conditions

Guidance No. 24 Transfers

Guidance No.25 Coroners and the media

Guidance No. 26 Organ Donation

Guidance No. 27 Jury Irregularities

Guidance No.28 Report of Death to the Coroner: Decision Making and Expedited Decisions

Guidance No. 29 Documentary inquests

Guidance No. 30 Judge-led inquests

Guidance No. 31 Death Referrals and Medical Examiners

Guidance No. 32 Post-Mortem Examinations including Second Post-Mortem Examinations

Guidance No. 33 Suspension, Adjournment and Resumption of Investigations and Inquests

Guidance No 34 Chief Coroner’s Guidance for coroners on Covid-19

Guidance No. 35 Hearings during the pandemic

Guidance No 36 Summary of the Coronavirus Act 2020, provisions relevant to coroners

Guidance No 37 COVID-19 deaths and possible exposure in the workplace – AMENDED

Guidance No 38 Remote participation

Guidance No 39 Recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic

Guidance No 40 Counsel to the inquest


This Bench Book is currently under review and not all of the information contained within should be treated as current. It may not reflect current case law. A new version will be published presently.


Law Sheet No.1: Unlawful killing

Law Sheet No.2: Galbraith plus

Law Sheet No.3: The Worcestershire Case

Law Sheet No.4: Hearsay Evidence

Law Sheet No.5: The Discretion of the Coroner

Law Sheet No.6 – Maughan

Details of when the law sheet was revised



Treasure: A Practical Guide for Coroners – Advice from the Chief Coroner


MoU The Health & Safety Executive 21.05.2019