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Administration of Justice Statistics

September 2007

A coroner is a judicial officer, usually a lawyer or doctor, independent of both local and central government, whose main duty is to investigate sudden or unexplained death. The involvement of the coroner may result in an inquest or post-mortem examination.

Coroner districts are distinct from local authority boundaries in England and Wales. However, coroners are subject to the Lord Chancellor in matters of discipline and the Home Office is responsible for administrative, legislative or parliamentary matters. The main legislation setting out the powers and duties of coroners is consolidated in the Coroners Act 1988.

Gross Expenditure

There was a steady growth in total gross expenditure per 1,000 population between 2003-04 and 2007-08. Total gross expenditure (excluding capital charges) on the provision of the Coroners' Court service in England and Wales is estimated to amount to 66.0 million in 2007-08, an increase of 0.9 million (1.3%) over 2006-07.

The majority of expenditure is spent on post-mortems and reports, the employee costs and the provision of mortuary facilities (premises).

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September 2007

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