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Coroners and Justice Act 2009

Territorial Extent

53.In the main the Act’s provisions extend to England and Wales only, but certain provisions also extend to Scotland or Northern Ireland or both (and there are also some bespoke Scottish or Northern Irish provisions mirroring equivalent provisions for England and Wales). In relation to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the Act addresses both devolved and non-devolved matters.

54.The provisions of the Act relating to the following reserved matters extend to Scotland or are bespoke Scottish provisions:

  • Amending the Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths Inquiry (Scotland) Act 1976 to facilitate investigations in Scotland into the deaths of service personnel killed abroad (section 50).

  • Driving disqualification following conviction (section 137 and Schedule 16);

  • Implementation of the E-Commerce Directive (section 143);

  • Amendments to the 1998 Act (Part 8); and

  • Amendments to (military) service law consequential upon other provisions in the Act.

55.The Act contains provisions that trigger the Sewel Convention. The provisions relate to the implementation of the Services Directive (section 143) and criminal memoirs etc (Part 7). The Sewel Convention provides that Westminster will not normally legislate with regard to devolved matters in Scotland without the consent of the Scottish Parliament. The consent was given on 21 May 2009 (Official Report Col 17799 ( /meetingsParliament/or-09/sor0521-02.htm#Col17799)).

56.The provisions of the Act relating to the following excepted or reserved matters also extend to Northern Ireland or are bespoke Northern Irish provisions:

  • The amendments to the Coroners Act (Northern Ireland) 1959 (the 1959 Act) made by section 49 and Schedule 11;

  • Reform of the law on murder, infanticide and suicide (Chapter 1 of Part 2);

  • The new offence of possession of non-photographic images of child sex abuse (Chapter 2 of Part 2);

  • The new offence in England and Wales and Northern Ireland of holding someone in slavery and servitude, or requiring a person to perform forced or compulsory labour (section 71);

  • The offence of conspiring in Northern Ireland to commit an offence in England and Wales or Scotland (section 72);

  • Investigation anonymity orders and witness anonymity orders (Chapters 1 and 2 of Part 3);

  • Extension of the Queen’s evidence powers to the FSA (section 113);

  • Driving disqualification following conviction (section 137 and Schedule 16);

  • Enabling courts to pass an indeterminate sentence for public protection for certain terrorist offences (section 139);

  • Implementation of the E-Commerce and Services Directives (section 143);

  • Implementation of the Framework Decision on the taking account of convictions of member States in the course of new criminal proceedings (section 144 and Schedule 17);

  • Provision for the seizure and retention of knives taken into court buildings (section 147);

  • Criminal memoirs etc (Part 7);

  • Amendments to the 1998 Act (Part 8); and

  • Amendments to (military) service law consequential upon other provisions in the Act.

57.In relation to Wales, the Act does not relate to devolved matters or confer functions on the Welsh Ministers, except for the following:

  • Coroners – functions relating to the investigation of deaths by coroners are not devolved, but coroners are appointed and funded by local authorities. Under Schedule 2 to the Act, the Lord Chancellor will be required to consult the Welsh Ministers before making an order to specify the coroners areas for England and Wales or subsequently alter coroner area boundaries in Wales, and before he determines which one of a group of local authorities – within a coroner area – should act as the lead authority to liaise with coroners for various administrative purposes. Welsh Ministers will also be consulted on the appointment of a Medical Adviser to the Chief Coroner, who will give advice on medical issues across England and Wales to the Chief Coroner;

  • Death certification – the Act places a duty on Local Health Boards to appoint medical examiners for Wales and section 19 gives the Welsh Ministers the power to make regulations about various matters relating to medical examiners;

  • National Medical Examiner - Before appointing a person as National Medical Examiner under section 21, the Secretary of State must consult the Welsh Ministers.

  • Sentencing – section 132 places a duty on the Sentencing Council to assess the impact on prison and probation resources of policy and legislative proposals, including proposals put forward by the Welsh Assembly Government, referred to the Council by the Lord Chancellor. Where an assessment relates to a proposal of the Welsh Ministers, the Act requires them to lay a copy of the Council’s report of the assessment before the National Assembly for Wales.

58.Section 181(9) makes provision in respect of section 79(3) of the International Criminal Court Act 2001 (the 2001 Act). That section permits Her Majesty to make provision by Order in Council to extend provisions of the 2001 Act to any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or any colony. The effect of the amendment would be that the power in section 79(3) may be exercised in respect of the 2001 Act as amended by section 70.

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