The Victorian Attorney-General asked the Coronial Council of Victoria (the Coronial Council) to review the provisions under the Coroners Act 2008 that allow for appeals against, and re-opening of, coronial investigations, to ensure laws are working appropriately.
The Council provides independent advice to the Attorney-General and is also independent of the Coroners Court of Victoria.
The Department of Justice and Regulation assisted the Council with this review.
Read the report and government response
Re-opening an investigation
A Coroner may re-open an investigation if they are satisfied that there are new facts and circumstances, and that it is appropriate to re-open the investigation (section 77 of the Coroners Act).
If a Coroner refuses to re-open an investigation, the decision can be appealed to the Supreme Court on a question of law, generally within 28 days of the refusal (section 84 of the Coroners Act).
A senior next of kin, or a person with a sufficient interest in the investigation, can appeal to the Supreme Court against a refusal by the Coroners Court to re-open an investigation. The Supreme Court may allow the appeal in the interests of justice (section 87A of the Coroners Act).
Appealing against the findings of a coroner
A person with a sufficient interest in a coronial investigation has the right to appeal to the Supreme Court against the findings of a coroner on a question of law, generally within six months of the finding (section 83 of the Coroners Act).