The State Coroner’s Court of New South Wales, or the Coroner’s Court, is a government body charged with overseeing and coordinating coronial services in NSW.
Under the Coroner’s Act 2009 (NSW) (‘Coroner’s Act’), the Coroner’s role is to investigate and hold inquests concerning reportable deaths and suspected deaths of persons, and to make inquiries concerning certain fires and explosion that do not involve deaths or suspected deaths.
The Coroner can only investigate matters that occur within the state of New South Wales, and deaths and suspected deaths that have occurred within the last 100 years.
Once the Coroner investigates a matter, it determines the details of what occurred, establishing the identity of the deceased and the date, place, circumstances and medical cause of death based upon the available evidence.
Most notably, the Coroner has power to make recommendations to governments and other agencies, which often involves recommendations on how services can be better improved to avoid similar deaths.
Unfortunately there is no mechanism available to the NSW Coroner to ensure these recommendations are actually put in place, however, the increasing media coverage the NSW Coroner’s findings attract place significant public pressure on subject parties to ensure the recommendations are adopted.