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Coroners and Justice Act 2009

Section 34 and Schedule 7: Allowances, fees and expenses

267.This section gives effect to Schedule 7 which gives the Lord Chancellor regulation-making powers regarding fees and allowances that the senior coroner can pay (or are paid on his or her behalf, for example by the local authority) to jurors and witnesses to cover costs incurred due to their attendance at an inquest or pre-inquest hearing. This Schedule also provides for other payments to be made by senior coroners to practitioners who conduct post-mortem examinations. It allows senior coroners to charge for supplying copies of documents. A relevant authority can issue a schedule of the fees, allowances and other payments that senior coroners can make.

268.The Schedule also provides for coroners, the Chief Coroner, Deputy Chief Coroner, Coroner for Treasure, or a judge, former judge or former coroner, when carrying out an investigation, to be indemnified, or reimbursed any costs, in connection with: costs arising from legal claims made in relation to exercise of the person’s powers or functions; disputes of claims as to what they may, or may not have done; damages awarded against them; or in costs ordered to be paid by them in connection with such proceedings. This replicates the effect of Section 27A of the 1988 Act which required a council to indemnify a coroner for expenses reasonably incurred in connection with his or her functions, or in relation to disputing a claim made against him or her.

269.Section 27 of the 1988 Act required senior coroners to produce accounts to the council of their appointing local authority, and made provision as to the funds from which reimbursements should be paid. Provision about such matters will now be contained in secondary legislation.

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