Chief Coroner now appointed
Finally, after much deliberation, Judge Peter Thornton QC has now been appointed as Chief Coroner for England and Wales.
The Coroner and Justice Act 2009 has yet to be properly implemented and the change in Government in 2010 has seen further delay in bringing about much needed reforms which are already provided for in the Act.
Those who work within the coronial system are frustrated that progress to reform existing procedures are slow. This is not least because the current Coronial System is complex and often leaves bereaved families unsatisfied with the outcome.
Sharon Allison, a medical injury lawyer who represents bereaved families at Inquests says: “It is disappointing that the legislation has not been properly implemented and since the change in Government, reforms to the Coronial system have lost momentum and priority.
Despite there being provision in the Act for families to appeal a Coroner’s decision, this has not been implemented and therefore the only way of challenging such a decision is by way of a Judicial Review, which is a significant step to take.
Through my practice as an advocate, there is little consistency of approach between Coroners, which makes the process harder for bereaved families and the advocates supporting them. One hopes with the appointment of the Chief Coroner that perhaps reforms can reach a little higher on the agenda.”
If you wish to discuss representation at an Inquest or a medical injury case, please do not hesitate to contact Sharon Allison or any member of the Medical Injury team on 01842 752401.
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