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Coroners and Justice Act 2009

Part 1 – Appointment of senior, area and assistant coroners

208.The Act will change the titles of the office of coroner. The hierarchy under the 1988 Act consisted (in descending order) of coroners, deputy coroners and assistant deputy coroners. Under the Act, there will be senior coroners, area coroners and assistant coroners.

209.Under the 1988 Act, the relevant local authority appointed coroners (but not deputy and assistant coroners). The Secretary of State approved certain coroners’ appointments; and where the coroner’s district consisted of two or more such areas, or two or more Welsh principal areas, the relevant local authority consulted the others before making an appointment. The coroner appointed his or her own deputy and any assistant deputy coroners (section 6 of the 1988 Act). This will not continue under the Act.

210.Under Part 1 of Schedule 3 appointments of all coroners are made by the relevant authority for each coroner area. There is a new requirement for the Lord Chancellor and Chief Coroner to consent to the appointment of all senior coroners.

211.Following consultation with the Chief Coroner and the relevant local authorities, the Lord Chancellor can determine whether the coroner area requires one or more area coroners in addition to the senior coroner, and if so how many. He or she can also determine the minimum number of assistant coroners.

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