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The Australasian Coroner's Manual

The Coroners Court presents unique and complex challenges for coroners, lawyers and others working in the jurisdiction, as well as for bereaved families and friends. This new manual, written by a leading Australian coroner and an academic lawyer with a special interest in the cultural diversity of death rites and customs, provides practical guidance not available in any other single publication in Australia and New Zealand. The authors address the problems of: Identifying deaths reportable to coroners and the over-reporting of natural deaths Deciding the most appropriate, least invasive ways of conducting post mortem medical investigations Dealing with objections by next of kin to autopsies Responding sensitively and reasonably to the grief and concerns of the bereaved Understanding and accommodating the diversity of death customs and funeral rites in a multicultural society Selecting cases for inquest Managing the coronial investigation and the inquest Working with investigators and Counsel Assisting Analysing accidents, human error and systems failure Developing expertise in a wide range of technical issues Focusing the inquest on death prevention and improving public health and safety. A key feature of the manual is a collection of checklists, models, tools to aid decision-making and other practical resources that all coroners and practitioners in the jurisdiction will find invaluable, including thoughtful exercises for those new to the jurisdiction. The authors also provide tips for advocates working in the jurisdiction either as Counsel Assisting or representing families or interested parties.
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Table of Contents

Foreword by the Hon Justice Michael WigneyPrefaceAbout the AuthorsTable of CasesTable of Statutes 1. Introduction 2. Basic Issues for Coroners 3. The Bereaved and Their Grief 4. Autopsies and Objections to Autopsy 5. Inquests 6. Mistakes, Accidents, Systems Failures and Countermeasures 7. Notes on Common Types of Coronial Cases 8. Aspects of Advocacy in the Coronial Jurisdiction Select Guide to Resources Appendix A: A Glossary of Terms Commonly Used in Post Mortem Reports Appendix B: Sample of Coroner's Introductory Remarks at Inquest Appendix C: Sample of Coroner's Warning to a `Person of Interest' Concerning Privilege against Self-incrimination Appendix D: Sample Precedent for Written Findings Appendix E: Sample Inquest Findings Appendix F: Sample Letter to Police Commending Investigator Appendix G: Sample Letter to Parents of a Child who has Died of a Drug Overdose Appendix H: Sample Letter of Condolence to Parents of Children who Commit Suicide Index

About the Author

Hugh Dillon is a Deputy State Coroner and Magistrate in NSW. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor the UNSW Law School. Marie Hadley is an admitted lawyer and PhD candidate in law at the University of New South Wales.

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