Australian Institute of Criminology

Skip to content

Coroners

  1. Flynn, Martin. 1993, 'The Coroners Act 1993 (NT): Is it an Adequate Response to the Recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody?', Aboriginal Law Bulletin, vol. 3, no. 63, August, pp. 15-16.

    This article compares the provisions of The Coroners Act 1992 (NT) with the recommendations of the RCIADIC. It looks specifically at the definition of a 'death in custody' and examples including the Gundy case and two NT cases. A number of recommendations of the RCIADIC that are properly the matters for coronial legislation have not been incorporated in the Act. These include Coroners' reporting methods; reporting of deaths and coronial inquests to deceased's' families; legal representation; post-mortem rights and other issues which highlights the necessity for all those concerned to see the implementation of the recommendations of the RCIADIC remain vigilant.

  2. Glass, Greg. 1994, Report by the NSW State Coroner into Deaths in Custody/Police Operations (Coroners Act, 1980), New South Wales State Coroner, Glebe, Sydney.

    The Report gives an introduction by the State Coroner discussing the definition of a death in custody or in the course of a police operation and continues on to discuss why it is desirable to hold inquests into deaths of persons in custody/police operations. NSW Coronial protocol for deaths in custody/police operations is outlined. The Report then proceeds to give an overview of deaths in custody/police operations on the NSW State Coroner's list in 1994 and concludes with summaries of individual cases completed in 1994.

  3. Halstead, B. 1995, Coroners' Recommendations and the Prevention of Deaths in Custody: A Victorian Case Study, Deaths in Custody Australia, No. 10 (November 1995), Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra.

    This report is a study of the extent to which coronial inquests into deaths in custody in Victoria have made recommendations which could assist in the prevention of deaths in custody. The study examines the range of factors which inhibit the full development of the preventive potential of coronial processes, including historical inertia, legalistic models of practice and an accompanying preoccupation with retrospective blame rather than prospective prevention.

  4. Halstead, B. 1996, 'Implementing Coroners' Deaths in Custody Recommendations: A Victorian Case Study', Current Issues in Criminal Justice, vol. 7, no. 3, March, pp. 340-355.

    The critical role of the coroner in the prevention of deaths in custody was commented upon at length in the National Report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCIADIC). The Report specifically referred to the need to establish appropriate administrative machinery to ensure that coroners' recommendations received proper consideration and that accountability attached to the implementation of these recommendations. This study examines the effectiveness of the administrative machinery in Victoria for processing coroners' recommendations after an inquest into a death in custody.

  5. Halstead, B. (forthcoming), 'Coroners' Recommendations in the Context of Deaths in Custody: Do They Work?', chapter in The Inquest Handbook, ed. Selby, H., Federation Press.

    This study illustrates, through selected case studies of deaths in custody in Victoria from the years 1990-1992, that matters raised in the discussion of coronial practice by the Royal Commission and in accompanying RCIADIC recommendations have not been systematically addressed. It examines the range of factors which inhibit the full development of the preventive potential of coronial processes, including legalistic models of practice and an accompanying preoccupation with retrospective blame rather than prospective prevention.

  6. Waller, K. 1994, Coronial Law and Practice in New South Wales, Butterworths, Sydney.

    In this third edition Mr Waller provides a highly informative and readable text concerned with both academic and practical aspects of the Coroner's Office. The practices and procedures that are detailed in this book clearly demonstrate the significant role that the Coroner plays in our society in attempting to deal with the issue of death. This book contains substantial sections on the State Coroner system, medical negligence, the crime of manslaughter, SIDS, battered babies, deaths in custody and other esoteric subjects. The deaths in custody examinable by a State Coroner as well as the definition applied are outlined. Statistics are provided on Aboriginal overrepresentation and deaths during the years 1989-91.

  7. Waller, K. 1994, Suddenly Dead: Ten Famous Cases Through the Eyes of the Coroner, Ironbark, Sydney.

    In this book, Kevin Waller reflects on ten of the most fascinating and memorable cases, giving the reader unique insights into how the Coroner seeks to determine cause of death and culpability. One of the ten cases included here is that of David Gundy, an Aboriginal man aged 29 years, who died of on 27 April 1989 from shotgun wounds in his own home as the result of a police raid.

  8. Waller, K. M. 1982, Coronial Law and Practice in New South Wales, Law Book Company, Sydney.

    This covers the jurisdiction of coroners in inquests into deaths or suspected deaths. It comments on the definitions of examinable deaths and the coroner's role in relation to deaths in admission centres and psychiatric hospitals, prisons and while in police custody. It defines mandatory and discretionary inquests. The excerpt discusses the need for the coroner to find the 'manner and cause of death'.

Recent publications