X Media Law: 12 Reporting inquests Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in X Media Law: 12 Reporting inquests Deck (28):
1

what is (and is not) the purpose of an inquest?
[3]

- find out who the deceased is
- find out how they died
- NOT to apportion blame

2

which legislation updated inquest laws?
[1]

- Coroners and Justice Act 2009

3

what kinds of death go to inquest (CJA)
[3]

- cause of death unknown
- violent or unnatural
- died in custody or other state of detention

4

fraction of deaths that go to inquest
[1]

- 1 in 20

5

who presides over a coroner's hearing
[1]

- a coroner (duh)

6

who used to be coroners?
[2]

- solicitors
- senior doctors

7

how has CJA changed coroners?
[2]

- provides a hierarchy of coroners
- now need to meet same requirements as a judge

8

new coroner hierarchy
[3]

- Senior Coroners
- Area Coroners
- Assistant Coroners

9

instances where juries used in coroners court
[6]

- died in custody/detention AND death unnatural or unknown
- death caused due to omission of police duty
- caused by 'notifiable' accident, poisoning or disease
- if coroner deems 'sufficient reason' to use jury

10

DEF: 'notifiable' disease
[1]

- a disease that an Act has deemed 'notifiable'

11

stages of coroner's hearing
[2]

- first hearing: soon after death, then adjourned for investigations
- second hearing: coroner asks witnesses questions, etc.

12

why is questioning at coroners different to criminal case?
[2]

- aimed at finding truth (not defence/prosecution)
- relatives or implicated parties can also ask questions

13

common terms in inquest verdicts
[9]

- natural causes
- lawful killing
- unlawful killing
- dependence on drugs
- want of attention at birth
- suicide
- accident or misadventure
- industrial disease
- open verdict

14

DEF: alternative (more flexible) option for verdict
[1]

- 'narrative verdict' (explaining circumstances of death)

15

action taken when organisation involved in death
[4]

- s43 CJA 2009
- coroner sends report highlight organisation's failings
- 56 days to reply, explaining how they've met failings
- MoJ has started posting these response online

16

how do inquests relate to criminal proceedings?
[3]

- inquest opened for simple ID and cause of death
- then closed until after criminal proceedings
- not usually reopened unless criminal proceedings didn't sufficiently deal with death (e.g. case didn't finish)

17

what happens when a number of people die in a major incident
[2]

- public inquiry opened into incident
- Lord Chancellor can direct closing of any inquests into individual deaths (usually not reopened)

18

what can 'interested persons' appeal at inquest (CJA)
[5]

- investigation into death in the first place
- discontinue investigation
- rule out post-mortem examination
- summon jury
- exclude people from all/part of hearing

19

what is the other, totally different, role of coroner?
[1]

- deciding ownership of valuable archaeological finds

20

when are coroners inquests NOT open?
[2]

- coroner decides national security issue
- CJA: ministers can decide sensitive deaths can be looked at by judicial inquiry (behind closed doors)

21

who informs media of inquest?
[2]

- no statutory right to be informed
- BUT coroners should make efforts to ensure press (especially local papers) are informed

22

are inquests covered by contempt of court?
[4]

- YES
- considered active when inquest opens (even if posted indefinitely)
- if inquest precedes criminal trial, it is NOT contempt to report on it
- BUT if report then affects case (e.g. has to move location) publisher might be liable for the costs

23

does defamation apply in inquests?
[2]

- covered by absolute privilege
- anything can be reported so long as it's fair, accurate and contemporaneous

24

what sections from contempt legislation can be applied to coroners inquest?
[2]

- s4(2) and s11 orders (CCA 1981)
- s39 (CYPA 1933)

25

what are the rules on written evidence?
[4]

- Rule 37 in Coroners Rules 1984
- evidence can be in written form is unlikely to be controversial
- coroner must read name then read statement aloud
- discretion to not read statement (e.g. suicide notes and psychiatric reports)

26

who's the best press contact at coroners court?
[1]

- coroners officer (police officer attached to court)

27

PCC guidelines on reporting inquests
[2]

- discretion, sympathy, sensitivity
- suicides: no excessive detail about the act

28

Ofcom guidelines on reporting inquests
[3]

- people in distress should not be pressured to take part in programme (unless warranted)
- broadcasters should attempt to reduce stress
- surviving victims / immediate family should be informed of coverage (even if case covered elsewhere previously)