What does a coroner do?
Coroners are appointed by the Governor-General to investigate sudden, unexplained or suspicious deaths. The role of the coroner is to establish when, where, how and why the death occurred.
When does a death need to be reported to the coroner?
If the death occurred because of any of the following circumstances the Police or medical professionals may call the coroner:
- A violent or unnatural cause (e.g. drowning, a car crash, poisoning);
- The cause of death is unknown;
- The person dies in prison;
- The person dies “in care” (e.g. in a psychiatric hospital or children’s home);
- The person appears to have taken their own life; or
- The person dies during or following a medical procedure.
When does a coroner release a body?
Usually after 24 hours following any post-mortem. It may take 2-3 days if the death is suspicious or if the medical examination is complicated.