Coroners Act 1962


Number 9 of 1962


CORONERS ACT 1962

REVISED

Updated to 15 June 2020


This Revised Act is an administrative consolidation of the Coroners Act 1962. It is prepared by the Law Reform Commission in accordance with its function under the Law Reform Commission Act 1975 (3/1975) to keep the law under review and to undertake revision and consolidation of statute law.

All Acts up to and including the Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Act 2020 (2/2020), enacted 27 March 2020, and all statutory instruments up to and including the Social Welfare (Consolidated Claims, Payments and Control) (Amendment) (No. 8) (Emergency Measures in the Public Interest-Jobseeker’s Benefit) Regulations 2020 (S.I. No. 223 of 2020), made 15 June 2020, were considered in the preparation of this Revised Act.

Disclaimer: While every care has been taken in the preparation of this Revised Act, the Law Reform Commission can assume no responsibility for and give no guarantees, undertakings or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness or up to date nature of the information provided and does not accept any liability whatsoever arising from any errors or omissions. Please notify any errors, omissions and comments by email to

revisedacts@lawreform.ie.


Number 9 of 1962


CORONERS ACT 1962

REVISED

Updated to 15 June 2020


Introduction

This Revised Act presents the text of the Act as it has been amended since enactment, and preserves the format in which it was passed.

Related legislation

Coroners Acts 1962 to 2019 : this Act is one of a group of Acts included in this collective citation, to be construed together as one ( Coroners (Amendment) Act 2019 (29/2019), s. 40(2)). The Acts in this group are:

Coroners Act 1962 (9/1962)

Coroners (Amendment) Act 2005 (33/2005)

Courts and Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2013 (32/2013), s. 24

Coroners (Amendment) Act 2019 (29/2019)

Annotations

This Revised Act is annotated and includes textual and non-textual amendments, statutory instruments made pursuant to the Act and previous affecting provisions.

An explanation of how to read annotations is available at

www.lawreform.ie/annotations.

Material not updated in this revision

Where other legislation is amended by this Act, those amendments may have been superseded by other amendments in other legislation, or the amended legislation may have been repealed or revoked. This information is not represented in this revision but will be reflected in a revision of the amended legislation if one is available.

Where legislation or a fragment of legislation is referred to in annotations, changes to this legislation or fragment may not be reflected in this revision but will be reflected in a revision of the legislation referred to if one is available.

A list of legislative changes to any Act, and to statutory instruments from 1972, may be found linked from the page of the Act or statutory instrument at

www.irishstatutebook.ie.

Acts which affect or previously affected this revision

Coroners (Amendment) Act 2019 (29/2019)

Criminal Justice (Forensic Evidence and DNA Database System) Act 2014 (11/2014)

Courts and Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2013 (32/2013)

Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011 (23/2011)

Fines Act 2010 (8/2010)

Chemicals Act 2008 (13/2008)

Coroners (Amendment) Act 2005 (33/2005)

Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 (10/2005)

Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004 (33/2004)

Civil Registration Act 2004 (3/2004)

Local Government Act 2001 (37/2001)

Local Government (Dublin) Act 1993 (31/1993)

Juries Act 1976 (4/1976)

All Acts up to and including Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Act 2020 (2/2020), enacted 27 March 2020, were considered in the preparation of this revision.

Statutory instruments which affect or previously affected this revision

Rules of the Superior Courts (Coroners) 2020 (S.I. No. 43 of 2020)

European Union (Personal Protective Equipment) Regulations 2018 (S.I. No. 136 of 2018)

European Union (Pressure Equipment) Regulations 2017 (S.I. No. 233 of 2017)

European Union (Lifts and Safety Components for Lifts) Regulations 2017 (S.I. No. 232 of 2017)

European Union (Equipment and Protective Systems Intended for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres) Regulations 2017 (S.I. No. 230 of 2017)

Finance (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 2011 (S.I. No. 418 of 2011)

European Communities (Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment) Regulations 2011 (S.I. No. 349 of 2011)

European Communities (Safety of Toys) Regulations 2011 (S.I. No. 14 of 2011)

Coroners Act 1962 (Fees and Expenses) Regulations 2009 (S.I. No. 155 of 2009)

Coroners Act 1962 (Fees and Expenses) Regulations 2008 (S.I. No. 561 of 2008)

European Communities (Machinery) Regulations 2008 (S.I. No. 407 of 2008)

Coroners Act 1962 (Fees and Expenses) Regulations 2007 (S.I. No. 240 of 2007)

Coroners Act 1962 (Fees and Expenses) Regulations 2006 (S.I. No. 122 of 2006)

Coroners Act 1962 (Fees and Expenses) Regulations 2005 (S.I. No. 196 of 2005)

European Communities (Control of Major Accident Hazards Involving Dangerous Substances) Regulations 2000 (S.I. No. 476 of 2000)

Coroners Act 1962 (Fees and Expenses) Regulations 2000 (S.I. No. 429 of 2000)

Coroners Act 1962 (Fees and Expenses) Regulations 1996 (S.I. No. 151 of 1996)

Coroners Act 1962 (Fees and Expenses) Regulations 1990 (S.I. No. 19 of 1990)

European Communities (Major Accident Hazards of Certain Industrial Activities) Regulations 1986 (S.I. No. 292 of 1986)

Local Government (Reorganisation) Act 1985, (County Borough of Galway) Order 1985 (S.I. No. 426 of 1985)

Local Government Reorganisation (Supplementary Provisions) (Dublin) Regulations 1985 (S.I. No. 128 of 1985)

Coroners Act 1962 (Fees and Expenses) Regulations 1984 (S.I. No. 196 of 1984)

Coroners Act 1962 (Fees and Expenses) (No. 2) Regulations 1981 (S.I. No. 416 of 1981)

Coroners Act 1962 (Fees and Expenses) Regulations 1981 (S.I. No. 201 of 1981)

Coroners Act 1962 (Fees and Expenses) (No. 2) Regulations 1980 (S.I. No. 381 of 1980)

Coroners Act 1962 (Fees and Expenses) Regulations 1980 (S.I. No. 167 of 1980)

Coroners Act 1962 (Fees and Expenses) (No. 2) Regulations 1979 (S.I. No. 72 of 1979)

Coroners Act 1962 (Fees and Expenses) Regulations 1979 (S.I. No. 11 of 1979)

Coroners Act 1962 (Fees and Expenses) Regulations 1977 (S.I. No. 337 of 1977)

Coroners Act 1962 (Fees and Expenses) (No. 2) Regulations 1976 (S.I. No. 199 of 1976)

Coroners Act 1962 (Fees and Expenses) Regulations 1976 (S.I. No. 88 of 1976)

Coroners Act 1962 (Fees and Expenses) Regulations 1973 (S.I. No. 256 of 1973)

Coroners Act 1962 (Fees and Expenses) Regulations 1970 (S.I. No. 196 of 1970)

Coroners Act 1962 (Fees and Expenses) Regulations 1965 (S.I. No. 32 of 1965)

Coroners Act 1962 (Fees and Expenses) Regulations 1963 (S.I. No. 145 of 1963)

Coroners Act, 1962 (Particulars For Registration of Death) Regulations 1962 (S.I. No. 95 of 1962)

Coroners Act, 1962 (Forms) Regulations 1962 (S.I. No. 94 of 1962)

Coroners Act, 1962 (Commencement) Order 1962 (S.I. No. 93 of 1962)

Coroners Act 1962 (Fees and Expenses) Regulations 1962 (S.I. No. 92 of 1962)

All statutory instruments up to and including Social Welfare (Consolidated Claims, Payments and Control) (Amendment) (No. 8) (Emergency Measures in the Public Interest-Jobseeker’s Benefit) Regulations 2020 (S.I. No. 223 of 2020), made 15 June 2020, were considered in the preparation of this revision.


Number 9 of 1962.


CORONERS ACT 1962.

REVISED

Updated to 15 June 2020


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

PART I

Preliminary and General

Section

1.

Short title and commencement.

2.

Definitions.

2A.

Application of Act to still births.

3.

Regulations.

4.

Expenses.

5.

Repeals.

PART II

Coroners and Coroners' Districts

6.

Coroners' districts.

6A.

Coroner's district of Dublin.

7.

Amalgamation of districts.

8.

Office of coroner.

9.

Salary of coroner.

10.

Review of salary. (Repealed)

11.

Tenure of office of coroner.

11A.

Temporary coroner.

12.

Place of residence of coroner.

13.

Deputy coroners.

13A.

Arrangements for Coroner's district of Dublin.

14.

Restriction on appointment as coroner or deputy coroner.

15.

Removal from office of coroner and deputy coroner.

16.

First coroners under this Act.

PART IIA

Reporting of deaths

16A.

Reportable deaths.

16B.

Persons obliged to report death to coroner.

PART III

Inquests

17.

General duty to hold inquest.

18.

Optional power to hold inquest and duty to notify coroner.

18A.

Purpose of inquest.

18B.

Notice of inquest.

19.

Post-mortem examination in lieu of inquest. (Repealed)

20.

Provisions where coroner and deputy coroner are prevented from holding inquest.

21.

Inquest where several deaths arise from one occurrence.

22.

Inquest without exhuming body.

23.

Inquest where body destroyed or irrecoverable.

24.

Inquest on order of Attorney General.

25.

Adjournment of inquest where criminal proceedings are being considered or have been instituted.

26.

Summoning of witnesses.

27.

View of the body.

28.

Note of names, addresses of witnesses.

29.

Preservation of certain documents.

30.

Prohibition of consideration of civil and criminal liability.

31.

Prohibition of censure and exoneration.

32.

Record of verdict returned at an inquest.

33.

Post-mortem examinations.

33A.

Duty to direct post-mortem examination.

33B.

Provisions relating to post-mortem examinations directed by coroner.

33C.

Further post-mortem examination.

33D.

Medical records of deceased person for purposes of post-mortem examination.

33E.

Report of post-mortem examination.

34.

Holding of adjourned inquest by different coroner.

35.

Disqualification of certain coroners for holding certain inquests.

36.

Service of summons.

37.

Non-attendance of jurors and witnesses.

38.

Powers with respect to the taking of evidence, etc, at inquest.

38A.

Taking of evidence from person about to leave State.

PART IV

Juries at Inquests

39.

General power to sit with or without jury.

40.

Obligation on coroner to sit with jury in certain cases.

41.

Number of coroner's jury.

42.

Liability to serve on coroner's jury. (Repealed)

43.

Summoning of jury.

44.

Failure of jury to agree.

45.

Holding of adjourned inquest with different jury.

PART V

Miscellaneous

46.

Removal and custody of body pending inquest, etc.

47.

Exhumation.

48.

Removal of body outside the State.

49.

Inquest on treasure trove.

49A.

Entry to premises to inspect, copy, take extracts from or seize documents, etc.

50.

Furnishing of particulars to registrars of births and deaths. (Repealed)

51.

Extension of power of coroner to authorise burial. (Repealed)

52.

Provisions governing post-mortem examination caused to be made by coroner. (Repealed)

53.

Prohibition on certain coroners from acting in certain proceedings.

53A.

Expert advice and assistance for coroners in certain circumstances.

54.

Supply of forms to coroner.

55.

Returns to be made by coroner.

56.

Prescribing of forms of oaths, etc, in respect of inquests.

57.

Prescribing of certain fees and expenses.

58.

Certification and payment of certain sums.

59.

Amendment of Juries Act, 1927. (Repealed)

60.

Legal aid and legal advice for inquests.

61.

Offences by body corporate.

62.

Directions of High Court.

FIRST SCHEDULE

Enactments Repealed

SECOND SCHEDULE

Deaths Reportable to Coroner


Acts Referred to

Local Authorities (Officers and Employees) Act, 1926

1926, No. 39

Public Offices (Fees) Act, 1879

1879, c. 58

Local Authorities (Officers and Employees) Act, 1926

1926, No. 39

Deaths Registration Act (Ireland), 1880

1880, c. 13

Juries Act, 1927

1927, No. 23

Health Act, 1947

1947, No. 28


Number 9 of 1962.


CORONERS ACT, 1962.

REVISED

Updated to 15 June 2020


AN ACT TO AMEND AND CONSOLIDATE THE LAW RELATING TO CORONERS AND TO CORONERS' INQUESTS. [11 th April, 1962.]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:—

Annotations:

Modifications (not altering text):

C1

Power of coroner to authorise disposal of bodies in certain circumstances provided (5.12.2005) by Civil Registration Act 2004 (3/2004), s. 44, S.I. No. 764 of 2005.

Power of coroner to authorise disposal of bodies.

44.—(1) A coroner may—

( a) when he or she has held an inquest on a body, but, subject to paragraph (b), in no other circumstances, if he or she thinks fit, by order authorise—

(i) a relative of the deceased person, or any other person, who proposes to cause the body to be disposed of, or

(ii) the undertaker, or any other person, who is in charge of the funeral of the deceased person, to dispose of the body before the registration of the death, and

( b) authorise the disposal of a body, whether it is lying for the time being in or outside his or her district, irrespective of whether he or she has decided that it is, or will become, necessary to hold an inquest on it.

(2) In subsection (1), “disposal”, in relation to a body, means disposal by burial, cremation or any other means and cognate words shall be construed accordingly.

C2

Application of Act restricted (1.01.1994) by Local Government (Dublin) Act 1993 (31/1993), s. 23(1), S.I. No. 400 of 1993.

Coroners.

23.—(1) The area comprised in the coroners district of the county, as existing immediately before the establishment day, shall on and from that day and notwithstanding any provision of this Act or of the Coroners Act, 1962, continue to constitute a coroners district.

...

Editorial Notes:

E1

Provision for disclosure of confidential information for report under collectively cited Coroners Acts made (21.04.2018) by European Union (Personal Protective Equipment) Regulations 2018 (S.I. No. 136 of 2018), reg. 51(2)(d)(i), in effect as per reg. 1(2).

E2

Provision for disclosure of confidential information for report under collectively cited Coroners Acts made (26.05.2017) by European Union (Pressure Equipment) Regulations 2017 (S.I. No. 233 of 2017), reg. 54(c)(i).

E3

Provision for disclosure of confidential information for report under collectively cited Coroners Acts made (26.05.2017) by European Union (Lifts and Safety Components for Lifts) Regulations 2017 (S.I. No. 232 of 2017), reg. 53(c)(i), in effect as per reg. 1(2), (3).

E4

Provision for disclosure of confidential information for report under collectively cited Coroners Acts made (26.05.2017) by European Union (Equipment and Protective Systems Intended for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres) Regulations 2017 (S.I. No. 230 of 2017), reg. 50(c)(i).

E5

Provision for disclosure of confidential information for inquest under Act made (20.11.2015) by Criminal Justice (Forensic Evidence and DNA Database System) Act 2014 (11/2014), s. 159(1)(2), S.I. No. 508 of 2015.

E6

Provision for disclosure of confidential information for report under collectively cited Coroners Acts made (20.07.2011) by European Communities (Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment) Regulations 2011 (S.I. No. 349 of 2011), reg. 22(2)(c)(i).

E7

Provision for disclosure of confidential information for report under collectively cited Coroners Acts made (20.07.2011) by European Communities (Safety of Toys) Regulations 2011 (S.I. No. 14 of 2011), reg. 47(c)(i), in effect as per reg. 2(1).

E8

Provision for disclosure of confidential information for report under collectively cited Coroners Acts made (29.12.2009) by European Communities (Machinery) Regulations 2008 (S.I. No. 407 of 2008), reg. 42(c)(i), in effect as per reg. 2(1).

E9

Provision for disclosure of confidential information for report under collectively cited Coroners Acts made (15.07.2008) by Chemicals Act 2008 (13/2008), s. 28(2)(c)(i), S.I. No. 273 of 2008.

E10

Arrangements for inquest in the event of a railway incident and role of coroner provided (18.12.2005) by Railway Safety Act 2005 (31/2005), s. 67, commenced on enactment.

E11

Provision for disclosure of confidential information for report under Act (1.09.2005) made by Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 (10/2005), s. 73(2)(c), S.I. No. 328 of 2005.

E12

Previous affecting provision: application of Act restricted (21.12.2000) by European Communities (Control of Major Accident Hazards Involving Dangerous Substances) Regulations 2000 (S.I. No. 476 of 2000), reg. 26(1), commenced on enactment; revoked (15.02.2006) by European Communities (Control of Major Accident Hazards Involving Dangerous Substances) Regulations 2006 (S.I. No. 74 of 2006), reg. 7(1).

E13

Previous affecting provision: application of Act restricted (1.09.1986) by European Communities (Major Accident Hazards of Certain Industrial Activities) Regulations 1986 (S.I. No. 292 of 1986), reg. 25(1), in effect as per reg. 2; revoked (21.12.2000) by European Communities (Control of Major Accident Hazards Involving Dangerous Substances) Regulations 2000 (S.I. No. 476 of 2000), reg. 7(1)(a).