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Coroners and Justice Act 2009

Paragraph 8: Resumption of investigation suspended under paragraph 2

111.Paragraph 8 of Schedule 1 sets out the arrangements for resuming investigations suspended because certain criminal proceedings have been brought.

112.Under paragraph 8(1) the senior coroner can resume an investigation only if he or she thinks there is sufficient reason to do so.

113.Paragraph 8(2) ensures that the investigation cannot be resumed until the criminal proceedings which triggered the suspension have come to an end in the court of trial.

114.This is qualified by paragraph 8(3), under which the investigation can be resumed, even if the criminal proceedings are continuing, providing the relevant prosecuting authority (as defined in paragraph 8(4)) has confirmed it has no objection.

115.Paragraph 8(5) makes clear that the outcome of a coroner’s investigation resumed under this paragraph must be consistent with the result of the criminal proceedings which triggered the suspension.

116.It could be that the senior coroner resumes the investigation because the criminal investigation did not find all the facts that the senior coroner is required to find or because it did not meet ECHR Article 2 obligations, for example because the defendant pleaded guilty. Indeed the effect of section 6(1) of the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) is that the senior coroner, as a public authority, would be legally obliged to resume the investigation if this was necessary in order to secure compliance with Article 2.

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