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More powers for coroners

30th January 2007

The government is planning to give more power to coroners in a shake up of the British coronary system.

The proposals, set out in a draft coroners bill, aim to help prevent future deaths by ensuring lessons are fully learned from previous cases.  Under the new plans coroners would legally be able to force private and public organisations to respond to their proposals and indicate what action they have taken to ensure accidental deaths are not repeated.  The bill also proposes the appointment of a chief coroner who would oversee all new reports and responses before presenting an annual portfolio to the Lord Chancellor and House of Commons.

The proposed shake-up of the British coronary system comes after numerous families have campaigned on behalf of their deceased relatives in a bid to stop others dying in similar accidents.  Coroner system reform group Inquest thanked the government for listening to their proposals and said a change to the system was vital.  Constitutional affairs minister Harriet Harman said, "The findings of an inquest are important not just to explain how someone died but also to learn lessons for the future which will prevent deaths in similar circumstances. Currently, too often, coroners' findings are not acted on.?

 

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