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Access to Justice Act 1999

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

71Adjournment of inquest in event of judicial inquiry

This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

(1)In the [1988 c. 13.] Coroners Act 1988, after section 17 insert—

17AAdjournment of inquest in event of judicial inquiry

(1)If on an inquest into a death the coroner is informed by the Lord Chancellor before the conclusion of the inquest that—

(a)a public inquiry conducted or chaired by a judge is being, or is to be, held into the events surrounding the death; and

(b)the Lord Chancellor considers that the cause of death is likely to be adequately investigated by the inquiry,

the coroner shall, in the absence of any exceptional reason to the contrary, adjourn the inquest and, if a jury has been summoned, may, if he thinks fit, discharge them.

(2)Where a coroner adjourns an inquest in compliance with subsection (1) above, he shall send to the registrar of deaths a certificate under his hand stating, so far as they have been ascertained at the date of the certificate, the particulars which under the 1953 Act are required to be registered concerning the death.

(3)Where a coroner has adjourned an inquest in compliance with subsection (1) above, the Lord Chancellor shall send him the findings of the public inquiry as soon as reasonably practicable after their publication.

(4)A coroner may only resume an inquest which has been adjourned in compliance with subsection (1) above if in his opinion there is exceptional reason for doing so; and he shall not do so—

(a)before the end of the period of 28 days beginning with the day on which the findings of the public inquiry are published; or

(b)if the Lord Chancellor notifies the coroner that this paragraph applies, before the end of the period of 28 days beginning with the day on which the public inquiry is concluded.

(5)Where a coroner resumes an inquest which has been adjourned in compliance with subsection (1) above—

(a)the provisions of section 8(3) above shall not apply in relation to that inquest; and

(b)if he summons a jury (but not where he resumes without a jury, or with the same jury as before the adjournment), he shall proceed in all respects as if the inquest had not previously begun and the provisions of this Act shall apply accordingly as if the resumed inquest were a fresh inquest.

(6)Where a coroner does not resume an inquest which he has adjourned in compliance with subsection (1) above, he shall (without prejudice to subsection (2) above) send to the registrar of deaths a certificate under his hand stating any findings of the public inquiry in relation to the death.

(2)In section 8(4) of that Act (power to summon jury), for “either before he proceeds to hold an inquest” substitute “before he proceeds to hold an inquest, on resuming an inquest begun with a jury after the inquest has been adjourned and the jury discharged”.

(3)In the sidenote to section 16 of that Act (adjournment of inquest in certain cases), for “certain cases” substitute “event of criminal proceedings”.

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