Access to Coronial Information

The Chief Coroner has issued a Coronial Practice Direction in relation to access to coronial information. The important principles are:

  • The Court ‘owns’ all coronial information and access is only by way of express coronial order or direction
  • Coronial information is not commonly released while an investigation is ongoing
  • Families are generally entitled to access all coronial information about a deceased person
    • Post-mortem examination reports are not automatically released but can be obtained on request
    • Copies of autopsy and scene photographs are not ordinarily released but arrangements can be made for viewing
  • Owners of property damaged or destroyed by a disaster or fire the subject of an inquiry are generally entitled to access all coronial information about a deceased person
  • Coronial information may be released to other parties if they can demonstrate a sufficient interest in the inquest or inquiry

FOI applications to the Police or other government agencies seeking access to coronial information will be automatically refused.  See the Coronial Practice Direction for further information.