Paul and others v Deputy Coroner of the Queen’s Household and Another: Admn 2 Mar 2007

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 under section 14.
Held: under the 1988 Act, the Coroner for the Queen’s household was subject to all the general duties imposed and had all the general powers granted by the Act. Furthermore, since he was a franchise coroner, the area in which he exercised his jurisdiction was and could only have been the palaces or houses where Her Majesty was residing. Though this was a road traffic accident, its circumstances were unusual, and the fact of being chased by paparazzi disclosed a risk of similar future accidents. This brought in the requirement that a jury should sit. The fact that the family of the deceased wanted a jury was relevant but not determinatve. Since the inquest was to be with a jury, and it had been agreed that it would be inappropriate for such a jury to be drawn from members of the Queen’s household, the coroner should not have accepted jurisdiction as the Queen’s Coroner. Her impartiality had not however been compromised, and she should sit as deputy coroner for Surrey and with a jury.
Smith LJ, Collins J, Silber J
[2007] EWHC 408 (Admin), Times 12-Mar-2007, [2007] 2 All ER 509, [2007] 3 WLR 503, [2008] QB 172
Coroners Act 1988 14 29
CitedRegina v Her Majesty’s Coroner at Hammersmith ex parte Peach CA 1980
A coroner was obliged to sit with a jury under the section 13(2) of the 1926 Act where the deceased, who was watching a demonstration, was struck a violent blow on the back of his head from which he died.
Bridge LJ said: ‘The key to the nature . .
CitedRegina v HM Coroner for the Eastern District of the Metropolitan County of West Yorkshire ex parte National Union of Mineworkers CA 1985
A union picket had been knocked down by a lorry
Held: The coroner had been correct not to summon a jury pursuant to the section. It was of crucial importance that the facts did not have ‘any particular feature which distinguishes it from any . .
CitedPorter and Weeks v Magill HL 13-Dec-2001
Councillors Liable for Unlawful Purposes Use
The defendant local councillors were accused of having sold rather than let council houses in order to encourage an electorate which would be more likely to be supportive of their political party. They had been advised that the policy would be . .
CitedIn Re Neal (Coroner: Jury) QBD 17-Nov-1995
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 . .

Cited by:
See AlsoAssistant Deputy Coroner of Inner West London v Paul and Another, Regina on the Application of CA 28-Nov-2007
The coroner appealed a judicial review granted after he allowed into evidence, hearsay evidence contained in a written statemnent from a witness who could not attend the inquest.
Held: Rule 37 does not allow the admission of a document, even . .
CitedLewis v Commissioner of Police of The Metropolis and Others (Rev 1) QBD 31-Mar-2011
The defendant sought a ruling on the meaning of the words but using section 69(4) of the 1981 Act. The claimant solicitor was acting in complaints as to the unlawful interception of celebrity voicemails by agents of the press. There had been debate . .
CitedShafi v HM Senior Coroner for East London Admn 20-Jul-2015
The claimant’s son had died in a prison attached to a police station in Dubai. She sought a new inquest saying that the first had been inadequate.
Held: A new inquest was ordered. There had been difficulties in that the Dubai authorities had . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 02 February 2021; Ref: scu.249381