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Coroners and Justice Act 2009

Section 10: Determinations and findings to be made

92.This section explains what happens at the conclusion of the inquest. It sets out the possible outcomes and explains their effect.

93.Subsection (1)(a) requires the senior coroner – or the jury, where there is one – to make a “determination” at the end of the inquest as to who the deceased was, and how, when, where the deceased came by his or her death. This is broadly equivalent to the requirements under section 11(3)(a) and (4)(a) of the 1988 Act and rule 36 of the 1984 Rules. In an investigation where Article 2 ECHR is engaged, the coroner must also include a determination, or direct a jury to include a determination, as to the circumstances of the death.

94.Subsection (1)(b) also requires the coroner or jury to make a “finding” at the end of the inquest about the details required for registration of the death, as was required by section 11(3)(b) and (4)(b) of the 1988 Act. This will normally be, for example, a short finding such as accident or misadventure, suicide, industrial disease, natural causes, drug related or, where no clear cause has death has been established, the finding will be known as “open”. Increasingly, coroners make use of “narrative” findings in which they sum up (usually in a few sentences) how the person came to die.

95.Subsection (2) makes clear that a determination may not be worded in such a way as to appear to determine any question of criminal liability of any named person or to determine any question of civil liability.

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