Be prepared for pre-inquest hearings — essential guidance for coroners and interested parties

By Stuart Knowles and Alison Maw

It is likely coroners will list more pre-inquest hearings. It is vital everyone knows, well in advance, what is to be discussed and decided. Proper preparation by all, including the coroner, will lead to better outcomes.

Following allegations of collusion and conspiracy between the police and a coroner, the chief coroner has given clear guidance on how to conduct pre-inquest hearings. It all seems sensible and coroners would do well to follow them. Interested parties should always ask a coroner to prepare an agenda before turning up to a pre-inquest hearing (PIH). It will also be helpful if interested parties suggest matters they would like to be included for discussion so everyone knows what is expected before the final hearing and proper preparation can be made to ensure a fair conclusion is reached.

In Ernest Andrew Brown v HM Coroner for Norfolk and the Chief Constable of Norfolk (2014), the High Court handed down a decision following an application for an order to quash an inquest and to hold a fresh investigation. It was established that incomplete and inaccurate evidence was presented to the coroner following an inadequate police investigation. It was decided that the coroner, in that case, was unable to reach a safe and reliable conclusion as to how the deceased came about her death because vital evidence about the circumstances of death had not been brought to his attention…

Click on the link below to read the rest of the Mills & Reeve briefing.

Sign in or Register to continue reading this article

Sign in


It's quick, easy and free!

It takes just 5 minutes to register. Answer a few simple questions and once completed you’ll have instant access.

Register now

Why register to The Lawyer


Industry insight

In-depth, expert analysis into the stories behind the headlines from our leading team of journalists.


Market intelligence

Identify the major players and business opportunities within a particular region through our series of free, special reports.


Email newsletters

Receive your pick of The Lawyer's daily and weekly email newsletters, tailored by practice area, region and job function.

More relevant to you

To continue providing the best analysis, insight and news across the legal market we are collecting some information about who you are, what you do and where you work to improve The Lawyer and make it more relevant to you.

Analysis from The Lawyer

  • head1

    LPOver and out?

    The trend for unbundling legal work is advancing through the law firm ranks but there is still resistance in some quarters - namely in-house. We asked why


Fountain House
130 Fenchurch Street

Turnover (£m): 79.50
No. of lawyers: 367