Role of the Coroner

A coroner is an independent judicial office holder who acts to investigate the cause and circumstances of violent or unnatural deaths, or deaths of an unknown cause.

Coroners are appointed by and paid through the local authority for their area.

However, they are not local authority employees and are independent of both local and central government.

The work of coroners is ultimately overseen by the High Court of England and Wales and the Lord Chancellor.

Senior Coroners may be assisted in their workload by assistant coroners and, in larger areas, area coroners.

His Honour Sir Peter Thornton QC is the nominated judge to oversee the Inquests, appointed by the Lord Chief Justice pursuant to paragraph 3, Schedule 10 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009.