Page last updated at 19:23 GMT, Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Government confirms chief coroner U-turn

The government has confirmed its U-turn on abolishing the office of the chief coroner, but said that judicial review or application by the Attorney General would remain the only method of challenging a coroner's decision.

Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly said the office holder would not have the power to hear appeals, as MPs debated Lords' amendments to the Public Bodies Bill on 29 November 2011.

The chief coroner is intended to streamline inquests and make it easier and quicker for families of troops killed in action to find out how they died.

Shadow justice minister John Trickett opposed the revised plan and said: "In effect, the removal of the right of appeal will reduce the office of the chief coroner to what will be basically an administrative post with limited oversight of the coronial system."

The office of the chief coroner was established in November 2009 under the Coroners and Justice Act, introduced by the then Labour government.

The post has never been filled.

Mr Djanogly said Justice Secretary Ken Clarke would "immediately" hold talks with Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge over "how and when" the chief coroner's post would be filled.


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