New Guidelines for Lawyers Practising within the Coroners’ Court

New guidelines for legal professionals practising within the Coroners’ Courts have been published by the Bar Standards Board, the Solicitors Regulation Authority and CILEx Regulation. The new guidelines were introduced in response to concerns, particularly about the adversarial approach adopted by some lawyers. The key takeaways are summarised below.

Causation: A Recent Case Lays Bare the Different Approaches at Inquest and Trial

In this post, Helen Waller discusses the case of R (on the application of Wandsworth BC) -v- HM Senior Coroner for Inner West London [2021] EWHC 801 (Admin). The High Court recently dealt with a question that will be of interest to anyone handling cases in the Coronial Courts, but particularly those handling cases of fatal asbestos-related disease. The question was what evidence is required to show that asbestos exposure led to a specific death? The Court made clear that the answer to that question differs depending on whether the question is being asked in the context of a coronial investigation or a civil trial.

R (on the application of Maughan) v Her Majesty’s Senior Coroner for Oxfordshire [2020] UKSC 46

In this blog Edward Ramsay and David Sharpe QC discuss the landmark appeal to the Supreme Court (‘UKSC’) which considered the appropriate standard of proof to be applied when determining coronial conclusions of suicide (and unlawful killing). By a majority, the UKSC dismissed the appeal, holding that the standard of proof for all conclusions at an inquest is the balance of probabilities.