Section 25 and Schedule 4: Coroner for Treasure and Assistant Coroners for Treasure
224.This section gives effect to Schedule 4 which sets out the procedure for the appointment of the new Coroner for Treasure, qualifications required and terms of office. It also makes provision for the exercise of the Coroner for Treasure’s functions by assistant coroners who are designated as Assistant Coroners for Treasure.
Part 1 – Appointment, qualifications and terms of office of Coroner for Treasure
225.Paragraph 1 allows the Lord Chancellor to appoint a person as the Coroner for Treasure. This is a new role; the Coroner for Treasure will investigate all finds believed to be treasure or treasure trove from across England and Wales. Although he or she will have an office in a particular location, the location for any inquest required as part of a treasure investigation will take into account the convenience of interested persons, including the finder and the landowner.
226.The qualification to become the Coroner for Treasure will be the same legal qualification that is used for senior coroners (paragraph 2). Senior coroners will therefore be able to apply to become the Coroner for Treasure.
227.Paragraphs 3 to 6 set out how the Coroner for Treasure may vacate the office and how the Lord Chancellor may, with the Lord Chief Justice’s agreement, remove the Coroner for Treasure for incapacity or misbehaviour. They also provide for the Lord Chancellor to remunerate the Coroner for Treasure as appropriate.
Part 2 – Designation and remuneration of Assistant Coroners for Treasure
228.One or more assistant coroners will be designated as Assistant Coroners for Treasure (paragraph 7). They will cease to be Assistant Coroners for Treasure if they cease to be assistant coroners (paragraph 9).
Part 3 – Miscellaneous
229.Under paragraph 11, an Assistant Coroner for Treasure may undertake any of the functions of the Coroner for Treasure, should he or she be absent or unavailable or with the consent of the Coroner for Treasure. The Lord Chancellor will also be able to appoint staff to carry out the administrative functions related to treasure investigations (paragraph 12).