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Coroners and Justice Act 2009

Paragraph 1: Suspension of investigation where certain criminal charges may be brought

97.Paragraph 1 of Schedule 1 contains provision for suspending the senior coroner’s investigation in the event that it is likely that criminal proceedings will be brought in connection with the death. It is intended to avoid duplicate investigations. This is based on rules 26 and 27 of the 1984 Rules.

98.This will mean firstly, under Paragraphs 1(2) and 1(3) that the senior coroner will suspend an investigation if asked to do so by a prosecuting authority, including the Provost Marshal or the Director of Service Prosecutions in relation to service equivalents, because someone may be charged with a homicide or other offence directly involving or indirectly related to the death of the deceased.

99.Secondly, under paragraph 1(4), if the senior coroner has to suspend an investigation under paragraphs 1(2) or 1(3), the suspension must be for at least 28 days. The senior coroner has the power to extend (more than once if needed) the period of the suspension if asked to do so by the person who or authority which requested the original suspension (through paragraph 1(5)) or the Director of Service Prosecutions (in a paragraph 1(4) case).

100.Finally, paragraph 1(6) defines “homicide offence”,“related offence” and the “service equivalent of a homicide offence” as used in this paragraph.

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