An Empirical Approach to the New Zealand Government’s Review of the Coronial Jurisdiction
Given the public profile of New Zealand coroners, it is surprising that there has been limited empirical research about coroners’ decision-making. This article uses evidence from New Zealand’s first empirical study of coroners’ recommendations to discuss the New Zealand government’s recent review of the coronial jurisdiction. In June and October 2013, New Zealand’s Courts Minister announced proposed changes to the coronial system. Several of the Minister’s proposals are consistent with the empirical evidence, but there are also significant gaps in the review. The Minister’s review acknowledges the importance of coroners’ preventive function, but will the proposals enable New Zealand’s coronial law to achieve its full preventive potential? The empirical evidence suggests that the prophylactic potential of coroners’ recommendations is not being maximised.
Publisher: Thomson Reuters
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Keywords: coroners; coroners' recommendations; empirical; socio-legal; public policy
Research Type: Journal Article