For those of you practising in coronial law, the Chief Coroner's Guidance No. 17 was published on 30 January 2015. It contains some useful and succinct guidance on short form conclusions and narrative conclusions, including:
- how and when they should be used (as alternatives or together);
- the correct approach to the three stages of the conclusion (i.e. fact finding, box 3 of the Record of Inquest and box 4 of the Record of Inquest);
- standards of proof; and
- a summary of the 'ingredients' of the common short form conclusions.
The guidance is by no means a full and comprehensive review of the law, but it certainly provides clarity and is likely to be a useful reference when dealing with submissions on conclusions.
The guidance can be downloaded at http://judiciary.go.uk/related-offices-and-bodies/office-chief-coroner/guidance-law-sheets/coroners-guidance/