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Volume 461: debated on Wednesday 20 June 2007

To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice if she will take steps to allow co-habiting partners to (a) identify bodies of their partner and (b) receive information relating to the inquest in a situation where a spouse is still alive; and if she will make a statement. (142078)

In cases where the identification of a body is supervised by the coroner's office, Rule 20 of the Coroners Rules 1984 includes in the definition of a properly interested person the spouse or civil law partner of the deceased as well as anyone who in the coroner's opinion is a properly interested person. It is within the coroner's discretion whether a co-habiting partner should be treated as a properly interested person for the purpose of an inquest and hence may identify the body of his or her partner.