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Volume 463: debated on Monday 23 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how the proposed non-statutory Chief Coroner would enforce decisions; whether such decisions would be subject to judicial review; and if he will make a statement. (151692)

I am currently considering what the role and responsibilities of a non-statutory Chief Coroner might be, and whether such a post would provide a helpful addition to current arrangements at this time.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice who is responsible for providing coroners’ court facilities; and who will be responsible under his Department’s proposals for reform. (151693)

Coroners have a statutory duty to undertake inquests and order post-mortem examinations, and the relevant local authority is responsible for meeting the costs. A number of coroners have dedicated courts provided by their local authority. Where this is not the case coroners liaise with their local authorities and local HMCS court managers to secure the use of suitable court accommodation. In a reformed system these basic arrangements will not change. Where difficulties with court provision are identified we will continue to work with coroners and other stakeholders to help find local solutions.