If your relative dies, then there may be an inquest into their death. This section explains what an inquest is, what it will be like and your rights during the investigation.
There is a lot of information in this section. It may be overwhelming to try and read all of this at once. It covers every stage from the first investigation to appealing the conclusion of an inquest. The headings will guide you to the information you may need at each stage of the inquest.
- If your relative dies in certain situations, a doctor will report their death to the coroner.
- The coroner’s job is to find out who died, when, where and why they died. The why means the cause of death.
- The coroner will investigate the death. They may ask for a post-mortem examination or hold an inquest.
- An inquest is a public investigation which the coroner is in charge of. An inquest will happen if they don’t know how your relative died of if their death was unnatural.
- The coroner will not investigate all deaths.
- If your relative died in a psychiatric ward, there should be a wider Article 2 inquest.
- Coroners should keep you involved. They should tell you about the inquest and post-mortem arrangements.
- If you are a parent, child, spouse, civil partner or partner of someone who has died, you can register as an interested person. This means you can ask questions at the inquest.
- If the coroner holds an inquest, there may be a jury.
- At the end of the inquest, the coroner or jury will give a conclusion of how they believe your relative died.
- You may disagree with the coroner’s decision not to hold an inquest or the conclusion of an inquest. You can only challenge this through a judicial review
This section covers:
- What happens after my relative has died?
- What is a post mortem examination?
- What is a coroner?
- What is an inquest?
- What is an Article 2 inquest?
- Why would I go to my relative’s inquest?
- Will my relative’s funeral be delayed?
- When and where will the inquest be?
- Will there be a jury at the inquest?
- How can I prepare for the inquest?
- What are my rights at the inquest?
- What will the inquest be like?
- What happens at the Inquest?
- Can I get legal representation at the inquest?
- What happens after the inquest?
- Can I appeal the verdict or challenge a coroner’s decision?
- Useful contacts
These pages are created by Rethink Mental Illness' Advice Service in accordance with the Information Standard. Last reviewed in February 2017. Next review date January 2020
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