Coroners (Amendment) Act, 1927

Amendments with respect to inquests in cases of murder, manslaughter or infanticide.

10.—(1) If on an inquest touching a death the coroner is informed before the jury have given their verdict that some person has been charged before a District Justice with the murder, manslaughter or infanticide of the deceased, he shall, in the absence of reason to the contrary, adjourn the inquest until after the conclusion of the criminal proceedings and may if he thinks fit discharge the jury.

(2) After the conclusion of the criminal proceedings the coroner may, subject as hereinafter provided, resume the adjourned inquest if he is of opinion that there is sufficient cause so to do:

Provided that, if in the course of the criminal proceedings any person has been charged on indictment, then upon the resumed inquest no inquisition shall charge that person with an offence of which he could have been convicted on the indictment or contain any finding which is inconsistent with the determination of any matter by the result of those proceedings.

(3) Where a coroner resumes an inquest which has been adjourned in accordance with the requirements of this section and the jury has been discharged, the coroner shall proceed in all respects as if the inquest had not previously been begun, and the provisions of this Act shall apply accordingly as if the resumed inquest were a fresh inquest except that it shall not be obligatory on the coroner to view the body.

(4) If, having regard to the result of the criminal proceedings, the coroner decides not to resume the inquest he shall furnish the registrar of deaths with a certificate stating the result of the criminal proceedings and the particulars necessary for the registration of the death so far as they have been ascertained at the inquest, and the registrar shall enter the death and particulars in the form and manner prescribed by the Registration of Births and Deaths (Ireland) Act, 1863 and the Births and Deaths Registration Act (Ireland), 1880.

(5) It shall be the duty of the clerk to or other proper officer of the District Justice before whom a person is charged with murder, manslaughter or infanticide to inform the coroner who is responsible for holding an inquest upon the body of the making of the charge, and of the committal for trial or discharge, as the case may be, of the person charged, and it shall be the duty of the clerk or other proper officer of any court to which a person charged with murder, manslaughter or infanticide is committed for trial, and of the registrar or other proper officer of the court before which any appeal from a conviction of murder, manslaughter or infanticide is heard, to inform the coroner of the result of the proceedings.

(6) For the purposes of this section, the expression “the criminal proceedings” means the proceedings before a District Justice and before any court to which the accused person is committed for trial or before which an appeal from the conviction of that person is heard, and criminal proceedings shall not be deemed to be concluded until no further appeal can, without an extension of time being granted by the Court of Criminal Appeal, be made in the course thereof.