The main duties of the Coroner are to investigate all sudden and unexpected deaths. The Coroner’s permission is required to remove a deceased out of England and Wales for repatriation to another country. The purpose of the Coroner’s involvement is to establish who has died, when they died, where they died and how they died.
Once a death has been reported to the Coroner he/she will decide what action is necessary following initial investigations of the facts surrounding the death by his/her officers. This may include a post-mortem examination of the deceased to establish the cause of death and there may be a delay in making the funeral arrangements.
In other instances the death may be referred back to a Doctor to issue the necessary “Cause of Death Certificate” to allow for registration of the death to be carried out by the next of kin.
In the case of unnatural, unexplained, violent, or workplace deaths the Coroner will hold an inquest after a post-mortem. This will be open to the public and is to ascertain who the deceased was, how, when and where they died and the particulars legally needed to register the death. Sometimes an inquest can be opened and adjourned to allow the funeral to take place.
In the case of a deceased being repatriated into England or Wales, the Coroner is responsible for granting permission for the funeral to take place.