Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary
n. a county official with the responsibility to determine the cause of death of anyone who dies violently (by attack or accident), suddenly, or suspiciously. The coroner or one of his/her staff must examine the body at the scene of such a death and make a report. If the cause is not obvious or certified by an attending physician, then the coroner may order a “coroner’s inquest” which requires an autopsy (postmortem). If that is not conclusive, the coroner may hold a hearing as part of the inquest, although this is rare due to scientific advances in pathology.
The person who presides over a coroners court. Because of the role this court plays determining the cause of death, coroners are often medical practitioners, with little legal training; this situation is likely to be changed by legislation proposed recently. The role of the coroner (still called the ‘crowner’ in some parts of the country) is an ancient one, and the coroner used to have extensive powers of investigation and prosecution. Apart from the determination of the cause of death, the only other function routinely still exercised by coroners is the determination of treasure trove, and even that is something that most coroners will never encounter.
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This glossary post was last updated: 27th April, 2020 | 1 Views.