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Coroners and Justice Act 2009

Section 15: Power to remove body

141.This section specifies the arrangements for moving a body to a different location, for example to enable a post-mortem examination to be carried out.

142.Under subsection (1) a senior coroner who is responsible for conducting an investigation into the death or who needs to request a post-mortem examination in order to decide if he or she has a duty under section 1 to conduct an investigation may order that the body be moved to any suitable place. (The notes to section 14 set out when a senior coroner may need to request a post-mortem examination in order to decide if he or she has a duty under section 1 to conduct an investigation.)

143.This removes the restriction in section 22(1) of the 1988 Act that a body can be moved only within a senior coroner’s area or to an immediately adjoining area which has caused practical difficulties in a major incident where there have been several deaths. This power will also allow a senior coroner to make use of specialist equipment or skills available in a different part of the country and may, on occasion, mean that full post-mortems can be avoided.

144.The body can be moved to a place which is outside the senior coroner’s area only with the consent of the person providing that place (for example, a mortuary manager) except in the case of local authority premises. The issue of costs will be dealt with in regulations made under section 43.

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