To ask the Attorney General, what the average turnaround time has been for inquest applications by the Attorney General to the High Court under the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 in each of the last 10 years.
23 November 2021
Section 13 of the Coroners Act 1988 permits an application to be made to the High Court for either an order for a fresh inquest into a death, or an order to hold an inquest if one has not already been held. An application under section 13 cannot be brought unless the Attorney General’s authority – referred to as her ‘fiat’ – has been obtained. Once the Attorney General has granted or refused her fiat, the Attorney General’s Office does not usually have any further role in the process.
An applicant has six weeks from the grant of the Attorney General’s fiat to make an application to the High Court. The High Court will then decide whether to order an investigation to be carried out in accordance with Part 1 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009.
Neither the Attorney General’s Office nor the Ministry of Justice hold data on how long it takes between the Attorney’s fiat being granted and the High Court disposing of an application made under section 13.