Consultation on coronial investigations into deaths abroad

Consultation opened on 27 October 2022. Closing date 22 December 2022.

Summary

The Department is consulting on a number of different options which would provide coroners in Northern Ireland with a statutory power to undertake an investigation into the death abroad of a Northern Ireland citizen where a body has been repatriated here.

Documents

Consultation description

Coroners’ courts are a key part of Northern Ireland’s judicial system. The role of a coroner is to conduct formal investigations, known as inquests, into certain deaths and to determine who the deceased was, and how, when and where they came to their death.

 

However coroners here cannot investigate the death of a Northern Ireland citizen in another jurisdiction. A body must be ‘found’ here, which means there must be an element of discovery or chance encounter, which is not the case when a body is repatriated.

 

The law in Northern Ireland is therefore different to that in the rest of the UK and Ireland. The Department is exploring a number of options which would bring our law into line with the rest of the UK and Ireland by providing for an investigatory process which could provide answers for bereaved families as to how, when and where their loved one came to their death abroad.

 

A response questionnaire is available at Citizen Space (https://consultations.nidirect.gov.uk/doj/coronial-investigations-into-deaths-abroad). In order to aid analysis of responses it would be helpful if you could use the response questionnaire when responding.

 

Alternative Formats                                                                

Hard copies of this document and copies in other formats, including Braille, large print etc., are available upon request. If you require an alternative format or in a language other than English, please let us know and we will do our best to assist you. If you require any further information on this consultation or the content of this document, or any other assistance to make a response, please contact the Department.

Coroners’ courts are a key part of Northern Ireland’s judicial system. The role of a coroner is to conduct formal investigations, known as inquests, into certain deaths and to determine who the deceased was, and how, when and where they came to their death.

 

However coroners here cannot investigate the death of a Northern Ireland citizen in another jurisdiction. A body must be ‘found’ here, which means there must be an element of discovery or chance encounter, which is not the case when a body is repatriated.

 

The law in Northern Ireland is therefore different to that in the rest of the UK and Ireland. The Department is exploring a number of options which would bring our law into line with the rest of the UK and Ireland by providing for an investigatory process which could provide answers for bereaved families as to how, when and where their loved one came to their death abroad.

 

A response questionnaire is available at Citizen Space on the NIDirect website . In order to aid analysis of responses it would be helpful if you could use the response questionnaire when responding.

Alternative Formats                                                                

Hard copies of this document and copies in other formats, including Braille, large print etc., are available upon request. If you require an alternative format or in a language other than English, please let us know and we will do our best to assist you. If you require any further information on this consultation or the content of this document, or any other assistance to make a response, please contact the Department.

 
 
 

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