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Those working with coroner’s courts will know that the COVID-19 pandemic has created significant pressures. Almost 18 months on from the original court closures, some of the temporary changes are now likely to become permanent.
On 21 July 2021, The Judicial Review and Courts Bill was introduced to the House of Commons. This Bill intends to introduce practical changes to increase efficiency in the inquest process.
The five important inquest changes proposed in the Bill are:
The new changes won’t become law until the Bill progresses through Parliament – we will update you when we hear of progress.
The changes are likely to result in coronial time and resources being used more efficiently including less travel time for coroners and less court time needed for non-contentious hearings that can instead be concluded by letter. As a result, this is likely to enable coroners to spend more time on the contentious cases, and list them to be heard in court more quickly. The back-log of inquests to be heard is likely to reduce, which will benefit both bereaved families and health and social care professionals.
If you would like to discuss the changes in coronial law, or your inquest hearings, please do get in touch with our experienced advocates at Clyde & Co in the Healthcare department. We are always happy to have a chat (without charge).