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10 October 2013 | Comment | Article by Martin Jones

New time limit for inquests

The Coroner’s (Inquest) Rules 2013 came into force on 25 July this year. The changes that they introduced are now beginning to be applied in practice. Of greatest public interest is likely to be the new Rule 8. This rule provides that inquests must be completed within six months of the date on which a death is reported to the coroner or as soon as reasonably practicable after that date. Where it is not possible to complete a case within 12 months of the date upon which the coroner is made aware of the death, the coroner will be required to notify the Chief Coroner of this.

Rule 9 provides that a coroner must notify the deceased’s next of kin of the date, time and place of the inquest within seven days of the hearing date being set.

It remains to be seen how practical it will be to complete most inquests within six months given the other pressures on the system, not least the lack of financial resource. The change is likely to please families who have experienced long delays, in some cases running to many years.

Author bio

Martin Jones


As the Head of the Regulatory Department, Martin acts in a wide-range of regulatory crime and professional regulation matters. Martin has built up over 20 years of experience and a wealth of specialist knowledge.

He leads the firm’s cross-departmental alcohol and gaming licensing teams. Additionally Martin manages the teams providing a range of outsourced services to local authorities, including court representation of local authorities Adult and Children’s Services Departments.

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