Coroners are independent public officials whose function is to investigate sudden and unexplained deaths. In many cases, they will arrange for a post-mortem to be carried out to help them come to a conclusion. Where a coroner believes that a death was violent, unnatural or happened suddenly and from unknown causes, they will hold an inquest to establish the facts of how the person died. The function of the inquest is not to decide if someone is legally responsible for the person's death. It is solely to establish the 'who, when, where and how' of their death.

The Minister for Justice and Equality has no role in individual coroner investigations or inquests.



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