A young prisoner had been found dead in his cell hanging. A report suggested that he may have been sniffing solvents. The coroner himself initiated proceedings both under the Coroners’ Act and for judicial review to quash the inquisition over which he had presided in the light of new evidence which had later come to … Continue reading In re Rapier (Deceased): QBD 1988
The court considered to what extent it could look to the form of an Act before it was amended in order to assist it in construing the Act as amended: ‘The original section 21(a) of the [Coroners (Amendment) Act] 1926 is no longer law, since it has been replaced by Section 23(3) of the Births … Continue reading Regina v Greater Manchester Council ex parte Worch: 1988
The death occurred whilst diving some eight or nine miles offshore. The applicant, the deceased’s father challenged the coroner’s decision to refuse jurisdiction for an inquest. Held: The body was not, in the terms of the 1926 Act, ‘in or near the area within which he had jurisdiction’. Held: The wording used ordinary words of … Continue reading Regina v East Sussex Coroner Ex parte Healy: QBD 1988
Before a coroner’s jury could reach a verdict of unlawful killing, it had to be satisfied ‘that the act or omission of a single person must amount to unlawful conduct which was a substantial cause of death’, although Rule 42 of the Coroners Rules forbids the naming of that person. It was unthinkable that a … Continue reading Regina v West London Coroner ex parte Gray: CA 1988
A decision taken under the royal prerogative whether or not to issue a passport was subject to judicial review, although relief was refused on the facts of the particular case. Taylor LJ summarised the effect of the GCHQ case as making clear that the powers of the court ‘cannot be ousted merely by invoking the … Continue reading Regina v Foreign Secretary ex parte Everett: CA 20 Oct 1988
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The deceased committed suicide in prison. Her family sought to have added to the verdict the words ‘contributed by neglect’ and complained that the inquest had not provided a full and proper investigation of the death. Held: The Act needed to be read in its broader meaning to be compliant with the 1998 Act. ‘The … Continue reading Sacker, Regina (on the Application of) v Coroner for the County of West Yorkshire: HL 11 Mar 2004
The applicant’s wife had died of a cerebral haemorrhage, the result of severe hypertension, possibly secondary to eclampsia. The coroner decided not to hold an inquest. The issue raised was whether he was required to hold an inquest because there was reasonable cause to suspect that she had died an unnatural death. Held: The coroner … Continue reading Regina v Her Majesty’s Coroner for Inner London North ex parte Peter Francis Touche: CA 21 Mar 2001
Judges: Lord Justice Laws And Mr Justice Coulson Citations:  EWHC 1727 (Admin),  Inquest LR 182 Links: Bailii Statutes: Coroners Act 1988 13 Jurisdiction: England and Wales Coroners Updated: 31 May 2022; Ref: scu.420776
The applicant sought the quashing of an inquest verdict, and for a new inquest. The coroner resisted claiming that it would put too great a strain on his resources. Held: The section allowed a coroner to appoint a deputy who would be able to hold the inquest. The words ‘in his absence’ could include occasions … Continue reading Commissioner of the Police of the Metropolis v Inner London Coroner: QBD 31 Oct 2002
The family sought judicial review of a decision not to hold an inquest into the death of the deceased. The child had died in hospital. Held: The death had apparently been for natural causes, but the coroner had failed properly to ask himself whether the death was unnatural in the sense used in Regina -v- … Continue reading Regina v Her Majesty’s Coroner for District of Avon ex parte Smith: Admn 12 Feb 1998
The father of the deceased sought an order quashing the inquest on her death. He had recorded a verdict of suicide. She had died from acute salicylate poisoning, an aspirin overdose. The hospital was said not to have recognised her condition and not to have taken steps to prevent the result. She had left a … Continue reading In re Catherine Lucy Clegg (an Application to Quash Inquisition on Inquest): Admn 2 Dec 1996
The claimant doctor renewed his application for judicial review of the jury verdict of unlawful killing at the inquest into a patient. The patientwas alcoholic. The doctor prescribed a sedative drug for him, but it was known to be potentially lethal when taken with alcohol. The patient had used them in combination on previous occasions. … Continue reading Sreedharan, Regina (on The Application of) v HM Coroner for The County of Greater Manchester: Admn 28 May 2012
The Home Secretary had the discretion to order an inquest where coroner suspects a wrongful death, and the disposal of remains. Citations: Ind Summary 12-Feb-1996, Times 19-Dec-1995 Statutes: Coroners Act 1988 15 Jurisdiction: England and Wales Coroners Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.87920
A coroner was free to exclude evidence which he thought to be irrelevant or even if relevant where for expediency, exclusion would avoid increasing the length of the inquest and only add to the jury’s task. Citations: Independent 20-Aug-1993 Statutes: Coroners Act 1988 11(2) Jurisdiction: England and Wales Coroners Updated: 11 May 2022; Ref: scu.86865
The issue of a certificate to the Registrar of Deaths by a coroner, after a post mortem, but on the basis that an inquest was then thought unnecessary, did not make him functus officio. The procedure under the section did not replace the scheme for arranging an inquest. The court retained the power under section … Continue reading Terry v Coroner for East Sussex: CA 12 Jul 2001
The father of the deceased sought to have the coroner quash the inquest. His daughter had died in Spain from carbon monoxide poisoning, apparently emanated from a faulty water heater in the apartment in which she had stayed. Her body had been returned to England. The verdict had been open, but the coroner had sat … Continue reading In Re Neal (Coroner: Jury): QBD 17 Nov 1995
Prisoner’s death – need for full public enquiry The deceased had been a young Asian prisoner. He was placed in a cell overnight with a prisoner known to be racist, extremely violent and mentally unstable. He was killed. The family sought an inquiry into the death. Held: There had been a police investigation and trial … Continue reading Amin, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department: HL 16 Oct 2003
The claimant’s son had been stabbed to death. She challenged the refusal of the coroner to continue with the inquest with a view to examining the responsibility of any of the police in having failed to protect him. Held: The question amounted to asking whether the coroner’s decision on the resumption should have been affected … Continue reading Hurst, Regina (on the Application of) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis v London Northern District Coroner: HL 28 Mar 2007
The Coroner’s procedure to summon suitably qualified jurors is mandatory. Citations: Times 04-Jun-1993 Statutes: Coroners Act 1988 Judicial Review, Coroners Updated: 09 April 2022; Ref: scu.87322
The inquest was said to have been flawed because relevant material was withheld from the jury, factual issues were not addressed, and the Coroner had refused to leave open the possibility of a verdict of lack of care or neglect. The deceased had been in custody and a verdict of accidental death was returned. Held: … Continue reading O’Reilly v Coventry Coroner: QBD 3 Apr 1996
The deceased, aged 17, had had a severe asthma attack. The ambulance was delayed and she was taken to the hospital, but died on the way there despite assistance from police officers and latterly the ambulance staff. Evidence suggested that she might have survived if she had been got to the hospital earlier, but the … Continue reading Regina v Poplar Coroner ex parte Thomas: CA 15 Dec 1992
Application for an order under section 13(1)(c) of the Coroners Act 1988 quashing the inquisition on the inquest into the death of Jessie Victoria Earl. Judges: Lord Justice Warby Mr Justice Saini And His Honour Judge Teague QC Chief Coroner of England and Wales Citations:  EWHC 3468 (Admin) Links: Bailii Statutes: Coroners Act 1988 … Continue reading Earl and Another v HM Senior Coroner for East Sussex: Admn 21 Dec 2021
A coroner having issued a death certificate following a post mortem, but without an inquest, had power, upon later receiving powerful new evidence, himself to re-open the case, and to order an inquest, and he did not first have to seek authority from the High Court. The issuing of the certificate did not make him … Continue reading Terry v Coroner for East Sussex: QBD 12 Jan 2001
The deceased had committed suicide in prison. His family felt that the risk should have been known to the prison authorities, and that they had failed to guard against that risk. The coroner had requested an explanatory note from the jury. Held: The jury should indeed have been given opportunity to explain their verdict: ‘By … Continue reading Middleton, Regina (on the Application of) v Coroner for the Western District of Somerset: HL 11 Mar 2004
A prisoner had hanged himself after being left unsupervised in a single cell. He was a known suicide risk, but the Coroner directed the jury not to return a verdict which included any reference to lack of care. Held: A coroner was free not to leave a lack of care verdict to the jury where … Continue reading Regina v North Humberside and Scunthorpe Coroner ex parte Jamieson: QBD 12 Jul 1993
The claimant sought an order quashing the inquest into the death of her son, but the inquest had not yet been formally concluded. It had been opened but suspended pending the completion of criminal proceedings, and a later decision had been made to to resume the investigation. Held: The application must fail. It remained open … Continue reading Flower v HM Coroner for The County of Devon, Plymouth, Torbay and South Devon and Another: Admn 16 Dec 2015
 EWHC 2718 (Admin) Bailii Coroners Act 1988 13 England and Wales Coroners Updated: 28 December 2021; Ref: scu.245783
The claimants daughter’s death had first been declared non-suspicious. After a conviction for her murder, the Coroner sought to substitute a verdict of unlawful killing. The claimant objected saying that a wider enquiry was no justified, particularly as to the failures of the police investigation. Lord Justice Popplewell, Mr Justice Jay  EWHC 2813 (Admin), … Continue reading Skelton, Regina (on The Application of) v Senior Coroner for West Sussex: Admn 23 Oct 2020
A child had died. In earlier civil proceedings, the court had laid responsibility with the mother. Restrictions had been placed on the information which would effectively prevent the coroner conducting his inquest. The coroner sought a lifting of the orders. Held: The orders should be lifted to the extent compatible with preserving the child’s interests. … Continue reading LM, Re (Reporting Restrictions; Coroner’s Inquest): FD 1 Aug 2007
The court heard an application for judicial review of the Coroner’s verdict, on the grounds of procedural irregularity and insufficiency of enquiry. The claimant also sought a new review in the light of more recently received evidence. Held: The first claim failed. As to the second, Moses LJ said: ‘Whilst, on the state of the … Continue reading Sutovic, Regina (on the Application Of) v HM Coroner for North London: Admn 17 May 2006
The deceased was found hanging in her prison cell. The jury returned a verdict of accidental death, not being satisfied that she was not merely making a cry for help. The family appealed a finding that the inquest had satisfied the requirement for a fuller investigation of a death in custody, there having been an … Continue reading P, Regina (on The Application of) v HM Coroner for The District of Avon: CA 18 Dec 2009
The deceased died aged 14 in a Secure Training Centre by hanging. He had complained of his treatment and restraint methods used. The mother sought judicial review of the conduct of the inquest, wanting the coroner not to have ruled on the legality of the restraint methods used, and which of the STC Rules and … Continue reading Pounder, Regina (on the Application of) v HM Coroner for the North and South Districts of Durham and Darlington and others: Admn 22 Jan 2009
Relatives sought judicial review of the coroner’s decision not to allow a jury, and against allowance of an expert witness. The deceased had been a mental patient but had been arrested with a view to being hospitalised. He was taken first to the AandE department. From there he escaped and jumped into and drowned in … Continue reading Takoushis, Regina (on the Application of) v HM Coroner for Inner North London and others: CA 30 Nov 2005
The deceased prisoner had hanged himself. He had been a known suicide risk, and his brother said that the authorities being so aware, the death resulted from their lack of care. The inquest heard in full the circumstannces leading up to the death, but the Coroner directed the jury not to return a verdict which … Continue reading Regina v North Humberside and Scunthorpe Coroner ex parte Jamieson: CA 27 Apr 1994
The mother of the deceased asked for a new inquest, saying that there had been insufficient enquiry. He was an adult suffering Asperger’s syndrome and other difficulties, but had sought and been given excess prescriptions of fentanyl a drug to control bowel pain. The coroner had been unable to find an explanation for how he … Continue reading Jones v HM Coroner for The Southern District of Greater London and Another: Admn 28 Apr 2010
The court was asked whether evidence of the commission of the criminal offence of causing death by careless driving contrary to section 2B of the 1988 Act is capable of justifying a verdict of ‘unlawful killing’ at an inquest. Held: The coroner had been wrong to leave the offences of causing death by dangerous driving … Continue reading Wilkinson, Regina (on The Application of) v HM Coroner for The Greater Manchester South District: Admn 11 Oct 2012
The deceased had gone to hospital and was diagnosed as having a kidney stone. As it was removed there was evidence of infection. She declined and was transferred to the local NHS hospital in intensive care. She died and a post-mortem identified . .
The claimant sought judicial review of decisions of the coroner at the inquest of his late wife, and in particular as to the non-disclosure by the coroner of the police report prepared for the inquest.
Held: ‘The police report is a document . .
Request to quash coroner’s verdict . .
The 1988 Act was a consolidating Act. . .
As the deceased was arrested he swallowed something. He was examined by a doctor and denied that he had swallowed drugs, but his condition deteriorated and he died at hospital. The coroner refused to admit the evidence of a professor who was highly . .
a renewed application for permission to appeal – jurisdiction of coroner – granted. . .
A patient suffering schizophrenia had been a voluntary patient. He was allowed to visit another unit within the hospital grounds, but then left altogether and was next found preparing to jump from Tower Bridge. He was taken by ambulance to Hospital . .
The Attorney-General may consider prospects of success before allowing an application for a new inquest. . .
Representative claims were made against the respondents, hospitals, pathologists etc with regard to the removal of organs from deceased children without the informed consent of the parents. They claimed under the tort of wrongful interference.
The applicants sought judicial review of preliminary directions given for the intended inquest on the deaths of Diana Princess of Wales and of Dodi Al Fayed. It was submitted that the jurisdiction had been wrongly transferred to the Queen’s Coroner . .
The deceased was killed by ‘friendly fire’ during a night exercise in Kenya. A verdict of accidental death was returned, and a fresh inquest was sought particularly in the light of a statement from a fellow officer.
Held: The emergence of . .
The Commissioner appealed an order requiring the North London Coroner to re-open an inquest into a death of Mr Hurst. Following the adjournment a neighbour had been convicted of the murder. The commissioner argued that since the death had occurred . .
Relatives of the deceased said that the inquest carried out by the coroner was inadequate in Jamieson terms and had not satisfied the human rights issues. Maurice Kay LJ rejected the argument saying: ‘One does not reach the stage of resort to . .
The family appealed against an open verdict. Her son was found hanged at school. The coroner felt unable to be sure that he had committed suicide. He had been looking forward to a new job as a theatre technician.
Held: There was evidence . .
The appellant claimed he had been libelled, when he was called incompetent by the respondent in the way he dealt with finding an uncounted bundle of votes after an election. He appealed a finding of justification. The finding was based upon an interpretation of election law which, it was claimed, were themselves contentious. Held: No … Continue reading Gough v Local Sunday Newspapers (North) Ltd and Another: CA 12 Mar 2003
Destitute asylum seekers who were not entitled to welfare benefits could be in need of care and attention within the meaning of section 21 of the 1948 Act although they were no longer entitled to housing assistance or other social security benefits such as income support. The Act should be read so as to disallow … Continue reading Regina v Hammersmith and Fulham London Borough Council, ex parte M; Regina v Similar Ex Parte P etc: QBD 8 Oct 1996
The deceased died after being hit by a policemen with his baton when being arrested. The verdict of misadventure was now challenged. The police officer said he had hit out in fear of imminent attack. It was said that the Coroner had permitted those representing the police to bring in previous convictions recorded against the … Continue reading Regina v Southwark Coroner ex parte Fields: Admn 30 Jan 1998
The claimant appealed against a costs order. She had previously appealed against an order of the High Court on her application for judicial review of the inquest held by the respondent. Held: The coroner, and others in a similar position should not generally be expected to pay the costs of an appeal against an order … Continue reading Regina on the Application of Davies (No 2) v HM Deputy Coroner for Birmingham: CA 27 Feb 2004
The judicial review test is not simply whether there has been an error of law, but also whether the error has or may have resulted in a wrong verdict being entered. Judges: Woolf LJ Citations:  1 WLR 719 Citing: Approved – Regina v West London Coroner ex parte Gray CA 1988 Before a coroner’s … Continue reading Regina v Wolverhampton Coroner ex parte McCurbin: CA 1990
The applicant, a sister of the deceased, requested a judicial review of the decision of the coroner not to allow her to be represented and to cross examine witnesses. Held: One of the coroner’s letters had been offensive and misleading. A close blood relative should normally be allowed to be represented. The coroner had erred … Continue reading Regina v Coroner for Southern District of Greater London, ex Parte Driscoll: Admn 22 Oct 1993
Citations:  EWHC 2557 (Admin) Links: Bailii Statutes:
Domestic Offence requires Domestic Defence Each defendant sought to raise by way of defence of their otherwise criminal actions, the fact that they were attempting to prevent the commission by the government of the crime of waging an aggressive war in Iraq, and that their acts were accordingly justified in law. Held: The law on … Continue reading Regina v Jones (Margaret), Regina v Milling and others: HL 29 Mar 2006
The system under which the registered keeper of a vehicle was obliged to identify herself as the driver, and such admission was to be used subsequently as evidence against her on a charge of driving with excess alcohol, was not a breach of her right to a fair trial. The right not to give evidence … Continue reading Stott (Procurator Fiscal, Dunfermline) and Another v Brown: PC 5 Dec 2000
Exercise of Prerogative Power is Reviewable The House considered an executive decision made pursuant to powers conferred by a prerogative order. The Minister had ordered employees at GCHQ not to be members of trades unions. Held: The exercise of a prerogative power of a public nature may be, subject to constraints of national security and … Continue reading Council of Civil Service Unions v Minister for the Civil Service: HL 22 Nov 1984
The claimant had supported the grant of a visa to a woman in order to speak to members of Parliament who was de facto leader of an Iranian organsation which had in the past supported terrorism and had been proscribed in the UK, but that proscription had been cancelled by the Tribunal. Lord Carlile appealed … Continue reading Lord Carlile of Berriew QC, and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department: SC 12 Nov 2014
The claimant’s husband had been lost from the defendant’s ship at sea. The defendant had contracted to pay compensation unless the loss was by suicide. They so determined. The court was now asked whether that was a permissible conclusion in the circumstances: ‘This case raises two inter-linked questions of principle, one general and one particular. … Continue reading Braganza v BP Shipping Ltd: SC 18 Mar 2015
The claimant widow sued in negligence after the disappearance overboard of her husband from the respondent’s ship. The court had found insufficient evidence to establish the cause of death, either as to negligence as suggested by the claimant, or as to suicide as suggested by the defendant. Held: The evidence for suicide was sufficient. Longmore, … Continue reading Braganza v BP Shipping Ltd and Others: CA 22 Mar 2013
Two children died when their father jumped with them from a hotel balcony. The father had been acquitted in Crete of manslaughter after evidence of his psychiatric condition. The applicant now challenged the English coroner’s verdict of unlawful killing. Held: If the trial had been in England, a coroner could not make a finding inconsistent … Continue reading O’Connor, Regina (On the Application of) v HM Coroner for District of Avon and Another: Admn 7 May 2009
The court discussed the function of the coroner and his inquest. Lord Lane CJ said: ‘The coroner’s task in a case such as this is a formidable one, and no one would dispute that; that is quite apart from the difficulties which inevitably arise when feelings are running high and the spectators are emotionally involved … Continue reading Regina v South London Coroner ex parte Thompson: 8 Jul 1982
The appellants were mothers of two servicemen who had died whilst on active service in Iraq. They appealed refusal to grant a public inquiry. There had already been coroners inquests. They said that Article 2 had been infringed. Held: The appeal was dismissed. The right to an inquiry was procedural and depended first on the … Continue reading Gentle, Regina (on the Application of) and Another v The Prime Minister and Another: HL 9 Apr 2008
Limitation on Making of Anonymity Orders A firm of solicitors sought an order for anonymity in their proceedings against the LAB, saying that being named would damage their interests irrespective of the outcome. Held: The legal professions have no special part in the law as a party to entitle a court to allow a solicitors … Continue reading Regina v Legal Aid Board ex parte Kaim Todner (a Firm of Solicitors): CA 10 Jun 1998
The appellants were magazines and journalists who published, after committal proceedings, the name of a witness, a member of the security services, who had been referred to as Colonel B during the hearing. An order had been made for his name not to be disclosed during the hearing, but the court had had no power … Continue reading Attorney-General v Leveller Magazine Ltd: HL 1 Feb 1979
The claimants were PRs of men who had died or were severely injured on active duty in Iraq being variously fired at by mistake by other coalition forces, or dying in vehicles attacked by roadside bombs. Appeals were heard against a finding that the . .
A caller reported to the police that a man had left a public house with a gun in a plastic bag. He was confronted by armed police and shot. It had in fact been a stick of wood. The officers appealed a finding of unlawful killing.
Held: The . .
The claimant said that her husband, serving as an officer on the defendant’s ship was lost overboard as a result of the defendant’s negligence.
Held: The claim under the 1976 Act failed, but the court awarded the contractual sum claimed.
The claimants appealed refusal of a judicial review of the defendant’s decision to enter into the war in Iraq. The claimants were parents of troops who had died in the war. They said that the legal advice given to the government was incorrect.
In each case a death had occurred many years earlier where the deceased had apparently died at the hands of the armed forces. The relatives now challenged the range of verdicts which could be left to a coroner’s jury.
Lord Bingham said: ‘The . .