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Coroners and Justice Act 2009

Paragraph 2: Suspension where certain criminal proceedings are brought

101.Paragraph 2 of Schedule 1 sets out the arrangements for suspension of the senior coroner’s investigation when criminal proceedings have been brought in connection with the death. It is developed from section 16 of the 1988 Act.

102.The effect of paragraph 2(2) is that a senior coroner must suspend an investigation into a death on becoming aware either that someone has appeared or been brought before a magistrates’ court charged with a homicide offence involving the death of the deceased or that they have been charged on indictment in the Crown Court with such an offence. Similarly, under paragraph 2(4), when a coroner becomes aware that someone has been charged with an offence related to the death under investigation (whether it is before the magistrates’ court or the Crown Court), the senior coroner is also required to suspend the investigation. As set out in paragraphs 2(3) and 2(5), these duties also apply to the service equivalents of such offences.

103.The senior coroner need not suspend an investigation under paragraph 2(2), (3) or (4) where the prosecuting authority or the Director of Service Prosecutions (as the case may be) has no objection to the investigation continuing or where the senior coroner thinks that there is exceptional reason for not doing so (paragraph 2(6)).

104.Paragraph 2(7) makes provision for investigations which had been suspended under paragraph 1, and which are then subsequently suspended under paragraph 2.

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