What Powers Does the Coroner Have?

The Coroner has a number of powers related to the investigation of deaths, the issuing of subpoenas and the conduct of autopsies. Prior to convening a Coronial Inquest, the Coroner may exercise any or all of these powers.

If the coroner believes it is appropriate to do so for the purpose of an inquest or an inquiry, the coroner can do any of the following things:

  • conduct his or her own investigations into a death
  • take possession of a body
  • conduct an autopsy or an exhumation
  • subpoena medical experts to give evidence at an inquest, and
  • subpoena other people who have material knowledge about the death.

Autopsies and exhumation

The assistant coroner has the power to order an autopsy or an exhumation to be performed on the deceased where the death is within the coroner’s jurisdiction. If the family of the deceased (or any other person) object to this, they can apply to the Supreme Court of NSW to have the decision overturned.

If you would like free advice about the powers of the Coroner, please contact Armstrong Legal.


If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in corporate crime and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.


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