What will happen at the inquest
The Inquest will be conducted in a room not dissimilar to a courtroom. The Coroner will be present and will run proceedings. There may or may not be a jury, who will assist the Coroner in making a finding.
The Coroner will allow anyone who has sufficient interest in the subject-matter of the Inquest to be represented. This would usually include family members of the deceased.
The Coroner will hear evidence from witnesses, and interested parties will have the opportunity to cross-examine these witnesses. The Coroner may also ask questions of the witness.
The Coroner is able to subpoena anyone who might be able to give material evidence to do so at the Inquest. Failure to appear when instructed by the subpoena can lead to this person’s arrest.
If you believe that there is reason why the Coroner should hear your evidence, but you have not been called, you are able to apply in writing to the Coroner, who will then consider your request.
The hearing is usually open to the public.
A person whose evidence may tend to prove that they have committed an offence may apply for a certificate. This certificate means that the evidence they give cannot be used against them in a NSW court. If you are concerned that the evidence you may give may incriminate you, it is possible to have a solicitor present who can assist you in arguing law and making objections. Please call us on 9261 4555 if you need assistance from a lawyer that knows what to do in the Coroner’s Court.
An interested person or witness is not required to be legally represented. It is very important, however, that you think carefully about whether it may be in your interests to hire a lawyer.
If you would like free advice about the Inquest process, or if you are considering representation at an Inquest, please contact Armstrong Legal on (02) 9261 4555, or by contacting us from the links at the top right.
WHERE TO NEXT?
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.