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Sudden Death and the Coroner
CORONER'S POST MORTEM AND INQUESTS

Booklet content © Victims Voice 2002                             Web design © Tim Finucane 2009

17. Inquest Verdicts

 

Because an inquest does not determine blame for a death, the verdict must not imply criminal liability or civil liability on the part of any person by name. Verdicts used include natural causes, accident or misadventure, industrial disease, suicide, and unlawful killing, or open verdict if evidence for any other verdict is insufficient. Coroners must not add any comment to a verdict, but can inform any appropriate person or organisation of action needed to prevent further deaths in similar circumstances.

 

Coroners do not have to summarise their findings, but usually do so and may also explain why a particular verdict cannot be used. If an inquest is held with a jury, the jury will decide the verdict, guided by the coroner on points of law. The inquest hearing is closed when the verdict is stated by the coroner.

 

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