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Session 2008 - 09
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Coroners and Justice Bill


Coroners and Justice Bill
Part 1 — Coroners etc
Chapter 7 — Supplementary

20

 

(8)   

Practice directions may be given in accordance with Part 1 of Schedule 2 to the

Constitutional Reform Act 2005 (c. 4) on any matter that could otherwise be

included in Coroners rules.

(9)   

Coroners rules may, instead of providing for a matter, refer to provision made

or to be made by practice directions under subsection (8).

5

(10)   

In this section “rules of court” include any provision governing the practice

and procedure of a court that is made by or under an enactment.

Coroner of the Queen’s household

35      

Abolition of the office of coroner of the Queen’s household

The office of coroner of the Queen’s household is abolished.

10

Interpretation

36      

“Interested person”

(1)   

This section applies for the purposes of this Part.

(2)   

“Interested person”, in relation to a deceased person or an investigation or

inquest under this Part into a person’s death, means—

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(a)   

a spouse, civil partner, partner, parent, child, brother, sister,

grandparent, grandchild, child of a brother or sister, stepfather,

stepmother, half-brother or half-sister;

(b)   

a personal representative of the deceased;

(c)   

a medical examiner exercising functions in relation to the death of the

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deceased;

(d)   

a beneficiary under a policy of insurance issued on the life of the

deceased;

(e)   

the insurer who issued such a policy of insurance;

(f)   

a person who may by any act or omission have caused or contributed

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to the death of the deceased, or whose employee or agent may have

done so;

(g)   

in a case where the death may have been caused by—

(i)   

an injury received in the course of an employment, or

(ii)   

a disease prescribed under section 108 of the Social Security

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Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 (c. 4) (benefit in respect of

prescribed industrial diseases, etc),

   

a representative of a trade union of which the deceased was a member

at the time of death;

(h)   

a person appointed by, or representative of, an enforcing authority;

35

(i)   

where subsection (3) applies, a chief constable;

(j)   

where subsection (4) applies, a Provost Marshal;

(k)   

where subsection (5) applies, the Independent Police Complaints

Commission;

(l)   

a person appointed by a Government department to attend an inquest

40

into the death or to assist in, or provide evidence for the purposes of, an

investigation into the death under this Part;

(m)   

any other person who the senior coroner thinks has a sufficient interest.

 
 

Coroners and Justice Bill
Part 1 — Coroners etc
Chapter 7 — Supplementary

21

 

(3)   

This subsection applies where it appears that a person has or may have

committed—

(a)   

a homicide offence involving the death of the deceased, or

(b)   

a related offence (other than a service offence).

(4)   

This subsection applies where it appears that a person has or may have

5

committed—

(a)   

the service equivalent of a homicide offence involving the death of the

deceased, or

(b)   

a service offence that is a related offence.

(5)   

This subsection applies where the death of the deceased is or has been the

10

subject of an investigation managed or carried out by the Independent Police

Complaints Commission in accordance with Part 3 of Schedule 3 to the Police

Reform Act 2002 (c. 30), including that Part as extended or applied by or under

any statutory provision (whenever made).

(6)   

“Interested person”, in relation to an object that is or may be treasure or

15

treasure trove, or an investigation or inquest under section 20 concerning such

an object, means—

(a)   

the British Museum, if the object was found or is believed to have been

found in England;

(b)   

the National Museum of Wales, if the object was found or is believed to

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have been found in Wales;

(c)   

the finder of the object or any person otherwise involved in the find;

(d)   

the occupier, at the time the object was found, of the land where it was

found or is believed to have been found;

(e)   

a person who had an interest in that land at that time or who has had

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such an interest since;

(f)   

any other person who the senior coroner thinks has a sufficient interest.

(7)   

For the purposes of this section, a person is the partner of a deceased person if

the two of them (whether of different sexes or the same sex) were living as

partners in an enduring relationship at the time of the deceased person’s death.

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37      

Interpretation: general

(1)   

In this Part, unless the context otherwise requires—

“the 1953 Act” means the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953 (c. 20);

“the 1988 Act” means the Coroners Act 1988 (c. 13);

“area”, in relation to a senior coroner, area coroner or assistant coroner,

35

means the coroner area for which that coroner is appointed;

“area coroner” means a person appointed under paragraph 2(3) of

Schedule 3;

“assistant coroner” means a person appointed under paragraph 2(4) of

Schedule 3;

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“body” includes body parts;

“chief constable” means—

(a)   

a chief officer of police (within the meaning given in section

101(1) of the Police Act 1996 (c. 16));

(b)   

the Chief Constable of the Ministry of Defence Police;

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(c)   

the Chief Constable of the Civil Nuclear Constabulary;

(d)   

the Chief Constable of the British Transport Police;

 
 

Coroners and Justice Bill
Part 1 — Coroners etc
Chapter 7 — Supplementary

22

 

“the Chief Coroner” means a person appointed under section 27(1)(a);

“the Common Council” means the Common Council of the City of

London, and “common councillor” is to be read accordingly;

“coroner area” is to be read in accordance with paragraph 1 of Schedule 2;

“Coroners regulations” means regulations under section 33;

5

“Coroners rules” means rules under section 34;

“the coroner system” means the system of law and administration relating

to investigations and inquests under this Part;

“the court of trial” means—

(a)   

in relation to an offence (other than a service offence) that is

10

tried summarily, the magistrates’ court by which the offence is

tried;

(b)   

in relation to an offence tried on indictment, the Crown Court;

(c)   

in relation to a service offence, a commanding officer, a Court

Martial or the Service Civilian Court (depending on the person

15

before whom, or court before which, it is tried);

“Deputy Chief Coroner” means a person appointed under section

27(1)(b);

“document” includes information stored in an electronic form;

“enforcing authority” has the meaning given by section 18(7) of the Health

20

and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (c. 37);

“functions” includes powers and duties;

“homicide offence” has the meaning given in paragraph 1(6) of Schedule

1;

“interested person” is to be read in accordance with section 36;

25

“land” includes premises within the meaning of the Police and Criminal

Evidence Act 1984 (c. 60);

“local authority” means—

(a)   

in relation to England, a county council, the council of any

district comprised in an area for which there is no county

30

council, a London borough council, the Common Council or the

Council of the Isles of Scilly;

(b)   

in relation to Wales, a county council or a county borough

council;

“medical examiner” means a person appointed under section 18;

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“person”, in relation to an offence of corporate manslaughter, includes an

organisation;

“prosecuting authority” means—

(a)   

the Director of Public Prosecutions, or

(b)   

a person of a description prescribed by an order made by the

40

Lord Chancellor;

“related offence” has the meaning given in paragraph 1(6) of Schedule 1;

“relevant authority”, in relation to a coroner area, has the meaning given

by paragraph 3 of Schedule 2 (and see paragraph 2 of Schedule 20);

“senior coroner” means a person appointed under paragraph 1 of

45

Schedule 3;

“the service equivalent of a homicide offence” has the meaning given in

paragraph 1(6) of Schedule 1;

“service offence” has the meaning given by section 50(2) of the Armed

Forces Act 2006 (c. 52);

50

 
 

Coroners and Justice Bill
Part 2 — Criminal offences
Chapter 1 — Murder, infanticide and suicide

23

 

“service police force” means—

(a)   

the Royal Navy Police,

(b)   

the Royal Military Police, or

(c)   

the Royal Air Force Police;

“state detention” has the meaning given by subsection (2);

5

“statutory provision” means provision contained in, or in an instrument

made under, any Act (including this Act);

“treasure” means anything that is treasure for the purposes of the

Treasure Act 1996 (c. 24) (and accordingly does not include anything

found before 24 September 1997);

10

“treasure trove” does not include anything found on or after 24 September

1997.

(2)   

A person is in state detention if he or she is compulsorily detained by a public

authority within the meaning of section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 (c. 42).

(3)   

For the purposes of this Part, the area of the Common Council is to be treated

15

as including the Inner Temple and the Middle Temple.

(4)   

A reference in this Part to a coroner who is responsible for conducting an

investigation under this Part into a person’s death is to be read as a reference

to the coroner who is under a duty to conduct the investigation, or who would

be under such a duty but for the suspension of the investigation under this

20

Part.

(5)   

A reference in this Part to producing or providing a document, in relation to

information stored in an electronic form, is to be read as a reference to

producing or providing a copy of the information in a legible form.

Northern Ireland amendments

25

38      

Amendments to the Coroners Act (Northern Ireland) 1959

Schedule 9 inserts provisions into the Coroners Act (Northern Ireland) 1959

(c. 15) corresponding to certain provisions in Schedules 4 and 5 and in sections

11 and 12.

Part 2

30

Criminal offences

Chapter 1

Murder, infanticide and suicide

Partial defence to murder: diminished responsibility

39      

Persons suffering from diminished responsibility (England and Wales)

35

(1)   

In section 2 of the Homicide Act 1957 (c. 11) (persons suffering from

 
 

Coroners and Justice Bill
Part 2 — Criminal offences
Chapter 1 — Murder, infanticide and suicide

24

 

diminished responsibility), for subsection (1) substitute—

“(1)   

A person (“D”) who kills or is a party to the killing of another is not to

be convicted of murder if D was suffering from an abnormality of

mental functioning which—

(a)   

arose from a recognised medical condition,

5

(b)   

substantially impaired D’s ability to do one or more of the

things mentioned in subsection (1A), and

(c)   

provides an explanation for D’s acts and omissions in doing or

being a party to the killing.

(1A)   

Those things are—

10

(a)   

to understand the nature of D’s conduct;

(b)   

to form a rational judgment;

(c)   

to exercise self-control.

(1B)   

For the purposes of subsection (1)(c), an abnormality of mental

functioning provides an explanation for D’s conduct if it causes, or is a

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significant contributory factor in causing, D to carry out that conduct.”

(2)   

In section 6 of the Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964 (c. 84) (evidence by

prosecution of insanity or diminished responsibility), in paragraph (b) for

“mind” substitute “mental functioning”.

40      

Persons suffering from diminished responsibility (Northern Ireland)

20

(1)   

Section 5 of the Criminal Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 1966 (c. 20) (effect, in

cases of homicide, of impaired mental responsibility) is amended as follows.

(2)   

For subsection (1) substitute—

“(1)   

A person (“D”) who kills or is a party to the killing of another is not to

be convicted of murder if D was suffering from an abnormality of

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mental functioning which—

(a)   

arose from a recognised mental condition,

(b)   

substantially impaired D’s ability to do one or more of the

things mentioned in subsection (1A), and

(c)   

provides an explanation for D’s acts and omissions in doing or

30

being a party to the killing.

(1A)   

Those things are—

(a)   

to understand the nature of D’s conduct;

(b)   

to form a rational judgment;

(c)   

to exercise self-control.

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(1B)   

For the purposes of subsection (1)(c), an abnormality of mental

functioning provides an explanation for D’s conduct if it causes, or is a

significant contributory factor in causing, D to carry out that conduct.

(1C)   

Where, but for this section, D would be liable, whether as principal or

as accessory, to be convicted of murder, D is liable instead to be

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convicted of manslaughter.”

(3)   

In subsection (2), for “subsection (1)” substitute “subsection (1C)”.

(4)   

In subsections (4) and (5), for “mental abnormality” substitute “abnormality of

mental functioning”.

 
 

 
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