Inquests: a practitioner's guide
Overview
Legal Action Group
civil justice
‘This team of experienced inquest and inquiry lawyers have provided a manual which is comprehensive, informative, discursory and eminently readable … I would recommend it to all who work in coroner law or who have an interest in any aspect of coroner or inquiry work. It is an admirable guide to the new coroner laws and procedures’. HHJ Peter Thornton QC, Chief Coroner

'... an indispensable handbook for explaining law, procedure and practice, and placing these important tools in a human rights, campaigning and political context.' New Law Journal

'It is clear to see that this publication will continue to be a well-thumbed, invaluable aid for practitioners seeking to ensure that the coronial system affords to the bereaved the greatest prospect of achieving a true account of the circumstances of their loved one's death.' INQUESTLAW

'[This] substantial tome is a thorough and well-researched piece of work. It is unpretentiously written and very practical.' Journal of Law and Medicine

'If you have ever thought about representing a family at an inquest then this book is a must.' Independent Lawyer


The inquest process is of profound importance to many families. A properly conducted investigation and inquest which exposes the truth, culminates in a finding about what went right and what went wrong, and makes recommendations for change, can help relatives to recover after a death.

Inquests: a practitioner’s guide seeks to assist legal practitioners in promoting the rights of bereaved people who become involved in inquests. It is uniquely focused on examining the practice and procedure of the coroner’s court from the point of view of practitioner acting for the bereaved.

It is a comprehensive yet accessible and practical guide. There is thorough consideration of the practice and procedure of the coroner’s court, in-depth analysis of an ever-evolving body of case-law in UK and Strasbourg alongside practical and tactical guidance for practitioners from reporting the death through to the hearing, funding and remedies.

Contents include:
Historical origins of modern inquests
Coroner qualifications, appointment, bias, removal and immunity
The coroner’s duties; Jurisdiction, suspension and resumption of an inquest
The post-mortem and forensic toxicology; Immediate action on behalf of the deceased’s family
Funding of representation at the inquest
Conference with the advocate
Pre-inquest review hearings
The inquest hearing
The jury
The conclusion
Inquests and the European Convention on Human Rights
Controversial deaths: special cases
Post-inquest remedies
Public inquiries and other investigations
Extracts from legislation, useful resources, sample narrative directions and rulings from coroners, letters, precedents and non-statutory forms

Essential reading for barristers, solicitors and other advocates, coroners, campaigning organisations and public bodies.

About the author

Description: Leslie Thomas QC - author
Leslie Thomas QC is a barrister at Garden Court Chambers, London.