Overview

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

Background

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).