Table of provisions



Download 445.33 Kb.
Page1/4
Date conversion25.04.2016
Size445.33 Kb.
  1   2   3   4


AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY



Coroners Act 1997

No. 57 of 1997

TABLE OF PROVISIONS

Section


PART I—PRELIMINARY

  1. Short title

  2. Commencement

  3. Interpretation

PART II—THE CORONER’S COURT

Division 1—Establishment

  1. Establishment

Division 2—Appointment etc. of Coroners

  1. A Magistrate is a Coroner

  2. Chief Coroner

  3. Chief Coroner’s powers and functions

  4. Deputy Coroners

  5. Deputy Coroners’ powers

  6. Oath or affirmation to be taken or made by a Coroner or Deputy Coroner

  7. Registrar and Deputy Registrars

PART III—JURISDICTION OF CORONERS

Division 1—Inquests into deaths

  1. General powers of Coroner preserved

  2. Coroner’s jurisdiction in relation to deaths

  3. Decision not to conduct hearing

  4. Control of the body of the deceased

  5. Form of Coroner’s certificate

  6. Assistance to State and other Territory Coroners

Division 2—Inquiries into fires

  1. Coroner’s jurisdiction in relation to fires

Division 3—Inquiries into disasters

  1. Coroner’s jurisdiction in relation to disasters

PART IV—POST-MORTEM EXAMINATIONS AND EXHUMATIONS

  1. Dispensing with post-mortem examination

  2. Directions to medical practitioners to conduct post-mortem examinations

  3. Unavailability of medical practitioner directed to conduct a post-mortem examination

  4. Consideration of immediate family

  5. Reconsideration of decisions

  6. Previous attending medical practitioner entitled to observe post-mortem examination

  7. Removal of body to place of post-mortem examination

  8. Warrant for exhumation of body or recovery of ashes

  9. Prior considerations before directing post-mortem examinations

  10. Form of warrant for exhumation

  11. Re-interment of remains or ashes

  12. Removal of body or ashes for purposes of inquest outside the Territory

  13. Report by medical practitioner or analyst

  14. Assistance at post-mortems etc.

PART V—INQUESTS AND INQUIRIES

Division 1—Hearings

  1. Hearings

  2. Time and place of hearing

  3. Adjournment of hearing

  4. Notification of immediate family

  5. Notice relating to conduct of hearing

  6. Non-custodial deaths and fires—discretion to appoint legal practitioner

  7. Hearing in public except in certain cases

  8. Hearing to be held without jury

  9. Representation at hearing

Division 2—Witnesses

  1. Power of Coroner to summon witnesses etc.

  2. Service of summons on witness

  3. Warrant to bring witness to court

  4. Persons about to leave Territory—examination and production of documents etc.

Division 3—Evidence

  1. Procedure

  2. Evidence

  3. Recording of proceedings

  4. Informal request for evidence

  5. Access to documents etc.

Division 4—Findings and reports

  1. Coroner’s findings

  2. Interim findings

  3. Requests for copies of reports of findings

  4. Adverse comment in findings or reports

  5. Notification of Registrar-General

  6. Report after inquest or inquiry

Division 5—Indictable offences

  1. Procedure where evidence of indictable offence

Division 6—General powers of Coroners

  1. Investigators

  2. Coroner not to be called as witness

  3. Coroner not required to view the subject matter of inquest or inquiry

  4. Coroner may act on a Sunday

  5. Police assistance

  6. Request for hearing or for reconsideration of certain decisions

  7. Restriction of access

  8. Search warrants

  9. Inspection and retention of seized things

  10. Chief Coroner—power to hold fresh inquest or inquiry

PART VI—DEATHS IN CUSTODY: ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS

  1. Consideration of deceased’s family etc.

  2. Viewing of body etc.

  3. Post-mortem examinations by pathologists

  4. Obligation to appoint legal practitioner

  5. Records of deaths in custody

  6. Findings as to quality of care, treatment and supervision

  7. Copies of reports of findings

  8. Response to reports

PART VII—OFFENCES

  1. Obligation to report death

  2. Obligations on custodial officers

  3. Failure of witnesses to attend or produce documents

  4. Refusal to be sworn or give evidence

  5. False evidence

  6. Improper dealings with documents

  7. Improper dealings with body or ashes of deceased

  8. Intimidation or dismissal of witnesses

  9. Preventing witnesses from attending

  10. Bribery of witnesses

  11. Fraud on witnesses

  12. Contempt

  13. Conduct of directors, servants and agents

PART VIII—POWERS OF SUPREME COURT

  1. Application to hold inquest or inquiry

  2. Supreme Court—general

  3. Supreme Court—power to order inquest or inquiry

  4. Supreme Court—power to quash, or order fresh, inquest or inquiry

PART IX—FEES AND EXPENSES

  1. Determination

  2. Payment

  3. Remission, refund, deferral, waiver, exemption

  4. Review of decisions

  5. Witnesses’ expenses

  6. Amounts payable to assistants

PART X—MISCELLANEOUS

  1. Deaths in institutions—retention of deceased’s records

  2. Forms

  3. Annual report

  4. Regulations

PART Xi—Savings and transitionals

  1. Interpretation

  2. Appointments and authorisations

  3. Inquests or inquiries part heard

  4. Determinations

SCHEDULE 1

OATH AND AFFIRMATION

SCHEDULE 2

CORONER’S CERTIFICATE



AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY



Coroners Act 1997

No. 57 of 1997



An Act to provide for the holding of inquests into deaths and inquiries into fires and disasters and for related purposes

[Notified in ACT Gazette S300: 9 October 1997]

The Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory enacts as follows:

Part i—preliminary

Short title



1. This Act may be cited as the Coroners Act 1997.

Commencement

2. This Act commences on the day on which it is notified in the Gazette.


Interpretation

3. (1) In this Act, unless the contrary intention appears—

“Aboriginal person” means a person who is descended from, identifies as, and is accepted by an Aboriginal community as, an Aboriginal person;

“body” includes part of a body, and the remains of a body;

“Chief Coroner” means the person who is Chief Coroner by virtue of the operation of section 6;

“chief police officer” means the police officer who is responsible to the Commissioner of Police for the day-to-day administration of police;

“Coroner” includes a Deputy Coroner appointed under section 8;

“Court” means the Coroner’s Court continued in existence under subsection 4 (1);

“custodial officer” means—

(a) a member of the police force;

(b) the Administrator appointed under section 6 or an officer appointed under section 6AA of the Remand Centres Act 1976;

(c) an authorised officer or a supervisor within the meaning of the Supervision of Offenders (Community Service Orders) Act 1985;

(d) the Director of Mental Health appointed under section 112 or a Mental Health Officer appointed under section 119 of the Mental Health (Treatment and Care) Act 1994;

(e) the Director of Family Services or an officer appointed by the Director to be an officer for the purposes of the Children’s Services Act 1986;

(f) the Sheriff, a Deputy Sheriff, or a person appointed to assist the Sheriff under the Supreme Court Act 1933;

(g) a carer within the meaning of the Intoxicated Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1994; or

(h) the manager of a detention centre or a custodial officer as provided for by section 37 of the Periodic Detention Act 1995;

“death” includes a suspected death;

“disaster” means an occurrence in the Territory due to natural or other causes that—

(a) caused or threatened to cause substantial—

(i) loss of life or property; or

(ii) injury or distress to persons or damage to property or the environment; or

(b) in any way substantially endangered the safety of the public in any part of the Territory;

“hearing” means a hearing under Division 1 of Part V;

“immediate family”, in relation to a deceased person the subject of an inquest, means—

(a) a person who was the spouse of the deceased, or a parent, grandparent, child, brother or sister, or guardian or ward, of the deceased; and

(b) if the deceased was an Aboriginal person or Torres Strait Islander—a person who, in accordance with the traditions and customs of the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island community of which the deceased was a member, had the responsibility for, or an interest in, the welfare of the deceased;

“inquest” means an inquest concerning the death of a person;

“inquiry” means an inquiry concerning a disaster or fire;

“legal practitioner” means a legal practitioner (however described) of the High Court, of another federal court or of the Supreme Court of the Territory, a State or another Territory;

“medical practitioner” means a person—

(a) who is registered under the Medical Practitioners Act 1930; or

(b) who is deemed to be registered under that Act by virtue of section 25 of the Mutual Recognition Act 1992 of the Commonwealth;

“place” includes a vehicle, a vessel or an aircraft;

“Registrar” means the Registrar of the Coroner’s Court appointed under section 11, and includes a Deputy Registrar;

“Registrar-General” means the Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages;

“spouse”, in relation to a deceased person, includes a person who, at the time of death of the deceased, was—

(a) in a de facto marriage relationship with the deceased; or

(b) in a relationship (whether or not with a person of the same or the opposite sex) in which 1 provided personal or financial commitment and support of a domestic nature for the material benefit of the other;

“Torres Strait Islander” means a person who is a descendant of an indigenous inhabitant of the Torres Strait Islands.

(2) A reference in this Act to a death in custody is to be read as a reference to the death of a person—

(a) in a prison, lock-up or remand centre; or

(b) while—

(i) performing work pursuant to a community service order under the Supervision of Offenders (Community Service Orders) Act 1985;

(ii) serving a detention period in accordance with the Periodic Detention Act 1995;

(iii) being taken into or detained in custody, or subject to an order, under the Mental Health (Treatment and Care) Act 1994, or subject to a certificate under section 4 of the Mental Health Act 1962;

(iv) being taken into or detained in custody, restrained, or otherwise being provided with care under, or subject to an order of the kind referred to in paragraphs 47 (1) (h) to (m) (inclusive) or an arrangement under section 69C or 69M of, the Children’s Services Act 1986;

(v) at a licensed place within the meaning of the Intoxicated Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1994;

(vi) in, or being taken into, or after being taken into, or while escaping or attempting to escape from, the custody of a custodial officer (other than a custodial officer referred to in paragraph (g) of the definition of “custodial officer” in subsection (1)); or

(vii) in, or being taken into, or after being taken into, the custody of a custodial officer referred to in paragraph (g) of the definition of “custodial officer” in subsection (1);

and includes death as a result of a fatal injury sustained in a place or in any of the circumstances referred to in paragraph (a) or (b).

part ii—the coroner’s court

Division 1—Establishment

Establishment



4. (1) The Coroner’s Court established under section 3 of the Coroners Act 1956 continues in force as the Coroner’s Court.

(2) The Court is constituted by a single Coroner.

(3) The Court is a court of record.

Division 2—Appointment etc. of Coroners

A Magistrate is a Coroner

5. A person who is a Magistrate is a Coroner for the Territory.

Chief Coroner



6. The person for the time being holding or occupying the office of Chief Magistrate is the Chief Coroner.

Chief Coroner’s powers and functions



7. (1) The Chief Coroner is responsible for ensuring the orderly and expeditious discharge of the business of the Court.

(2) Subject to this Act, and after such consultation with the Coroners of the Court as is appropriate and practicable, the Chief Coroner shall make such arrangements as to the Coroner who is to constitute a Court in particular matter or class of matters as the Chief Coroner thinks fit.

Deputy Coroners



8. (1) The Executive may, by instrument, appoint a person to be a Deputy Coroner.

(2) A Deputy Coroner holds office on such terms and conditions (if any) in respect of matters not provided for by this Act as are specified in his or her instrument of appointment.

Deputy Coroners’ powers



9. (1) Subject to the directions of the Chief Coroner, a Deputy Coroner has and may exercise the powers of a Coroner.

(2) The Chief Coroner shall not direct a Deputy Coroner to hold an inquest into a death in custody.

(3) A Deputy Coroner who is a medical practitioner is not competent or compellable to hold an inquest into the cause of the death of a person whom he or she attended professionally at or immediately before the death of the person or during the last illness of the person.

Oath or affirmation to be taken or made by a Coroner or Deputy Coroner



10. (1) A Coroner or Deputy Coroner shall not perform a function or duty of his or her office until he or she has taken the oath or made the affirmation set out in Schedule 1.

(2) An oath or affirmation may—

(a) be taken or made before; and

(b) be administered or received by;

a Judge of the Supreme Court or a person authorised for the purpose by the Attorney-General.

Registrar and Deputy Registrars

11. (1) The Registrar of the Magistrates Court is the Registrar of the Court.

(2) Each Deputy Registrar of the Magistrates Court is a Deputy Registrar of the Court.

(3) The Registrar of the Court may appoint such Deputy Registrars of the Court as the Registrar considers necessary for the purposes of this Act.

part iii—Jurisdiction of coroners

Division 1—Inquests into deaths

General powers of Coroner preserved



12. Except as otherwise provided by this Act, a Coroner has all the powers, authority and jurisdiction which were, immediately before the commencement of the Coroners Act 1956, vested in a Coroner.

Coroner’s jurisdiction in relation to deaths



13. (1) A Coroner shall hold an inquest into the manner and cause of death of a person who—

(a) is killed;

(b) is found drowned;

(c) dies, or is suspected to have died, a sudden death the cause of which is unknown;

(d) dies under suspicious circumstances;

(e) dies during or within 72 hours after, or as a result of—

(i) an operation of a medical, surgical, dental or like nature; or

(ii) an invasive medical or diagnostic procedure;

other than an operation or procedure that is specified in the regulations to be an operation or procedure to which this paragraph does not apply;

(f) dies and a medical practitioner has not given a certificate as to the cause of death;

(g) dies not having been attended by a medical practitioner at any time within the period commencing 3 months prior to the death;

(h) dies after an accident where the cause of death appears to be directly attributable to the accident;

(j) dies, or is suspected to have died, in circumstances that, in the opinion of the Attorney-General, should be better ascertained; or

(k) dies in custody.



(2) A Coroner has jurisdiction to hold an inquest into the manner and cause of death, outside the Territory, of a person, if—

(a) the person was ordinarily resident in the Territory; and

(b) the death occurred in any of the circumstances referred to in subsection (1).

(3) A Coroner has jurisdiction to hold an inquest notwithstanding that—

(a) the body of the deceased—

(i) is not within the Territory;

(ii) has been destroyed; or

(iii) is in a place from which it cannot be recovered; or

(b) in the case of a suspected death—the body of the deceased can not be found.

Decision not to conduct hearing

14. (1) A Coroner may decide not to conduct a hearing into a death if, after consideration of information given to a Coroner relating to the death of a person, the Coroner is satisfied that—

(a) the manner and cause of death are sufficiently disclosed; and

(b) a hearing is unnecessary.

(2) A Coroner shall not dispense with conducting a hearing into a death if the Coroner has reasonable grounds for believing that the person died—

(a) in custody; or

(b) while under, or as a result of the administration of, an anaesthetic administered in the course of a medical, surgical or dental operation.

(3) A Coroner who decides not to conduct a hearing into a death shall give to the Chief Coroner and a member of the immediate family of the deceased written notice of his or her decision including the grounds on which the decision was based.

Control of the body of the deceased



15. (1) Where—

(a) a death occurs in respect of which a Coroner is required to hold an inquest; and

(b) the body of the deceased is in the Territory;

a Coroner has control of the body until the Coroner has issued a certificate in accordance with the Form in Schedule 2.



(2) A Deputy Coroner is not authorised to issue a certificate under subsection (1).

Form of Coroner’s certificate

16. Where—

(a) the death of a person has been reported to the Coroner; and

(b) the Coroner is satisfied that there is no reason why the body of the deceased should not be buried, cremated, or taken out of the Territory for burial or cremation;

the Coroner may give a certificate in accordance with the Form in Schedule 2.

Assistance to State and other Territory Coroners

17. (1) A Coroner may exercise any of his or her powers under this Act to assist a Coroner of a State or another Territory in relation to a death in that State or other Territory.

(2) If the Attorney-General requests, a Coroner shall exercise any of his or her powers under this Act to assist a Coroner of a State or another Territory in relation to a death in that State or other Territory.

Division 2—Inquiries into fires

Coroner’s jurisdiction in relation to fires

18. (1) A Coroner shall hold an inquiry into the cause and origin of a fire that has destroyed or damaged property, if—

(a) requested to do so by the Attorney-General; or

(b) the Coroner is of the opinion that an inquiry into the cause and origin of the fire should be held.

(2) Where—

(a) the owner or occupier of destroyed or damaged property requests a Coroner to hold an inquiry into the cause and origin of a fire; and

(b) the Coroner is of the opinion that an inquiry into the cause and origin of the fire should not be held;

the Coroner shall give to each owner or occupier who requested that an inquiry be held written notice of his or her opinion and the grounds on which the opinion is based.

Division 3—Inquiries into disasters

Coroner’s jurisdiction in relation to disasters



19. (1) The Chief Coroner shall, if requested to do so by the Attorney General, cause an inquiry to be held into the cause and origin of a disaster.

(2) The Chief Coroner shall not cause an inquiry to be held into the cause and origin of a disaster except with the consent of the Attorney General.

part iv—post-mortem examinations and exhumations

Dispensing with post-mortem examination

20. (1) A Coroner may dispense with the conduct of a post-mortem examination of a body if the Coroner, after considering the information furnished to him or her relating to the death, is satisfied that the manner and cause of death are sufficiently disclosed.

(2) A Coroner may dispense with the conduct of a post-mortem examination of a body if, on the request of a member of the immediate family of the deceased or a representative of that person, the Coroner is satisfied that the manner and cause of death are sufficiently disclosed.

Directions to medical practitioners to conduct post-mortem examinations



21. (1) Subject to section 28, a Coroner may, by order, direct a medical practitioner to conduct a post-mortem examination of the body of a person who has died in any of the circumstances in respect of which the Coroner has jurisdiction to hold an inquest.

(2) A Coroner may, by order, direct the same or another medical practitioner to conduct a further or more complete post-mortem examination of a body if satisfied that it is desirable to do so.
  1   2   3   4


The database is protected by copyright ©essaydocs.org 2016
send message

    Main page