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Volume 489: debated on Friday 20 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the longest time taken to conclude a Treasure inquest was in each of the last three years. (265348)

The Ministry of Justice collects statistics on the number of finds under the Treasure Act 1996 reported to coroners in England and Wales during each calendar year, the number of treasure inquests concluded during the year and, of these, the number of verdicts of treasure returned. Information is not collected on the time taken to conduct treasure inquests.

Informal figures are collated by the British Museum, which record the time between the inquest being requested by the British Museum and a verdict being returned. However, these figures only relate to treasure inquests which have been requested since 2006. The figures do not include inquests which were requested in earlier years, and so they do not reveal the longest time taken for treasure inquests which were concluded in each of the last three years. The British Museum figures show that the current longest-running ongoing treasure inquest was requested by them in March 2007.