An inquest is a legal investigation to establish the circumstances surrounding a persons death, including how, when and why the death occurred.
In some cases,an inquestwill also try to establishthe deceased person's identity.
The investigation is held in public at a coroners court in cases where:
A coroner's court is a legal body that helps determine how, when and why a person died. Coroners are independent judicial officers who are usually lawyers or doctors with appropriate training in law.
Unlike criminal trials, inquests don't try to establish whether anyone was responsible for a persons death. Evidence is given by witnesses but there's no prosecution or defence.
When an inquest is held, the coroner must inform the deceased person's next of kin or personal representative.
Read about inquests, which are legal investigations to establish the circumstances surrounding a persons death, including how, when and why the death occurred.
An inquest will be opened soon after the death. This allowsthe death tobe recorded, the deceasedto be identified and thecoroner togive authorisation fora burial or cremation to take place as soon as p
Most inquests are carried out by the coroner alone. However, in some circumstances, the coroner willcall a jury to decide the verdict. For example, a jury will be required ifthe death occurred in pri
Relatives of the deceased can attend an inquest and are able to ask the witnesses questions. However, they're only able to ask questions relating to the medical cause and circumstances of the death.