COMMERCIAL CRIME, CORRUPTION AND FRAUD
ICAC INVESTIGATIONS AND TRIALS
INSIDER DEALING AND SFC INVESTIGATIONS
JUDICIAL REVIEW AND ADMINISTRATIVE LAW
RESTRAINT, CONFISCATION AND FORFEITURE OF ASSETS
A Coroner’s inquest is a judicial enquiry held to find out the cause of a person’s death. They are generally held where the death was sudden, unexpected and unexplained, where circumstances of the death were suspicious or were due to violence, where the death occurred in prison or involved law enforcement agencies. The inquest may be held by the Coroner alone or he may sit with a jury.
There is no exhaustive list of possible verdicts. They may include death by natural causes, accident, death by misadventure, suicide, murder, manslaughter, infanticide, neglect, death by dangerous driving, or the verdict may be left open where the cause is unascertainable. No witness at an inquest shall be required to answer a question, if the answer may incriminate him regarding a criminal offence. If this were to happen a witness may refuse to answer. If the coroner finds criminal liability he can refer the case to the Secretary for Justice for prosecution.
Interested parties may be legally represented at an inquest with the leave of the coroner and have the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses called there. Our expertise is relevant here.
An inquest is primarily a fact-finding exercise and provides an opportunity for those interested in the death to question witnesses about the circumstances surrounding it. This can be important where civil litigation is intended, where criminal prosecution is a possibility or simply where family wish to know more about how a loved one died. Experience in cross-examination is very important and can be provided by the members of our Chambers. Contentious issues do arise and need to be dealt with by experienced litigators to ensure the best outcome.