Book review: “The Inquest Book: The Law of Coroners and Inquests” edited by Caroline Cross and Neil Garnham

11 July 2016 by


As we mentioned here, ‘The Inquest Book: The Law of Coroners and Inquests’, edited by Caroline Cross and Neil Garnham and written by members of 1 Crown Office Row, was published last month.  The Inquest Book provides practitioners with an up-to-date and comprehensive guide to the law of coroners and inquests.

Now available in hard copy and ebook format, The Inquest Book is available here with a discount of 30% available until 18 July 2016, and from Wildy’s, Waterstones and Amazon.

Please see below for a helpful review of the book by Bridget Dolan QC.

The Inquest Book:  The law of Coroners and Inquests

C Cross and N Garnham (Eds) (2016) Hart Publishing Ltd £150

ISBN:  978-1-84946- 649-3 Hardback

Review by Bridget Dolan QC of Serjeants’ Inn Chambers

How often when needing to quickly advise a client, draft a pithy skeleton argument or get on your feet fast to make submissions on a point of law have you thought to yourself “I know there is a really important case about that but I just can’t remember what it is”, then, even more annoyingly, after eventually dredging the case name from the dark recesses of memory, had to wade through paragraphs and paragraphs of the judgment just to find that really key part?  Well if you are an inquest practitioner you can now breathe a sigh of relief, a helpful team of barristers from 1 Crown Office Row have just saved you hours of head scratching by producing ‘The Inquest Book’ and doing most of the hard work for you.

The Inquest Book’ is a practitioner textbook in its purest form with no fluff or filler.   Unashamedly a book about law written for specialist lawyers by specialist lawyers, its twenty-six sensibly organised chapters each open with a brief overview of the chapter topic followed by the relevant legislative and other sources. Most importantly each chapter has at its heart a comprehensive ‘Cases’ section, made up of cases summaries and the key paragraphs from the seminal decided cases that cover each practice point.    Impressive in their attention to detail, having set out the essential extracts from those key cases in full, the authors then end many sections by efficiently listing the other cases of lesser importance but which might also be of relevance.   So, no more searching through piles of law reports from Osman to Oneryildiz through Smith to Stoyanovi to find those Art 2 nuggets; no more racking your brains to try and remember the proper name of that Polish case on the state’s duty to protect the public from falling branches… (It probably reveals my age if I tell you I remember it as Cheech & Chong – and so can never spell it in any search engine!) …there it is helpfully set out in the chapter on ‘Art 2 and Local Authorities’.

Alongside more obvious chapter topics such as ‘The Jury’, ‘Funding’ and inquest ‘Conclusions’ the book provides an analysis of some more specific frequently arising topics such as ‘Deaths in Custody’ and ‘Deaths in the Workplace’.   The section on ‘Inquests involving Intelligence Services and Agencies’ won’t be a chapter you need to turn to every day – but when you do you will be thanking (now deservedly Sir) Neil Garnham for taking the time to write down his thoughts and experience on managing the procedural difficulties of dealing with sensitive material at inquests before he set off for the High Court bench.

Perhaps the only downside of this book is that being so comprehensive takes space. So with it weighing in at half a kilo more than my laptop I can’t see me carrying it to court regularly – although, I expect to see a copy sitting on the Coroner’s desk when I get there.  Luckily, however, the publishers tell me there is an electronic version now available.


Welcome to the UKHRB

This blog is run by 1 Crown Office Row barristers' chambers. Subscribe for free updates here. The blog's editorial team is:
Commissioning Editor: Jonathan Metzer
Editorial Team: Rosalind English
Angus McCullough QC David Hart QC
Martin Downs
Jim Duffy

Free email updates

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog for free and receive weekly notifications of new posts by email.




This blog is maintained for information purposes only. It is not intended to be a source of legal advice and must not be relied upon as such. Blog posts reflect the views and opinions of their individual authors, not of chambers as a whole.

Our privacy policy can be found on our ‘subscribe’ page or by clicking here.


Aarhus Abortion Abu Qatada Abuse Access to justice adoption ALBA Al Qaeda animal rights anonymity Article 1 Protocol 1 Article 2 article 3 Article 4 article 5 Article 6 Article 8 Article 9 article 10 Article 11 article 13 Article 14 Artificial Intelligence Asbestos assisted suicide asylum Australia autism benefits Bill of Rights biotechnology blogging Bloody Sunday brexit Bribery Catholicism Chagos Islanders Children children's rights China christianity citizenship civil liberties campaigners climate change clinical negligence Coercion common law confidentiality consent conservation constitution contempt of court Control orders Copyright coronavirus costs Court of Protection crime Cybersecurity Damages data protection death penalty defamation deportation deprivation of liberty Detention disability disclosure Discrimination disease divorce DNA domestic violence duty of care ECHR ECtHR Education election Employment Environment Equality Act Ethiopia EU EU Charter of Fundamental Rights EU costs EU law European Court of Justice evidence extradition extraordinary rendition Family Fertility FGM Finance foreign criminals foreign office France freedom of assembly Freedom of Expression freedom of information freedom of speech Gay marriage Gaza genetics Germany Google Grenfell Health HIV home office Housing HRLA human rights Human Rights Act human rights news Huntington's Disease immigration India Indonesia injunction Inquests international law internet Inuit Iran Iraq Ireland Islam Israel Italy IVF Japan Judaism judicial review jury trial JUSTICE Justice and Security Bill Law Pod UK legal aid Leveson Inquiry LGBTQ Rights liability Libel Liberty Libya Lithuania local authorities marriage mental capacity Mental Health military Ministry of Justice modern slavery music Muslim nationality national security NHS Northern Ireland nuclear challenges Obituary ouster clauses parental rights parliamentary expenses scandal patents Pensions Personal Injury Piracy Plagiarism planning Poland Police Politics pollution press Prisoners Prisons privacy Professional Discipline Property proportionality Protection of Freedoms Bill Protest Public/Private public access public authorities public inquiries rehabilitation Reith Lectures Religion RightsInfo right to die right to family life Right to Privacy right to swim riots Roma Romania Round Up Royals Russia Saudi Arabia Scotland secrecy secret justice sexual offence Sikhism Smoking social media South Africa Spain special advocates Sports Standing statelessness stop and search Strasbourg Supreme Court Supreme Court of Canada surrogacy surveillance Syria Tax technology Terrorism tort Torture travel treaty TTIP Turkey UK Ukraine USA US Supreme Court vicarious liability Wales War Crimes Wars Welfare Western Sahara Whistleblowing Wikileaks wind farms WomenInLaw YearInReview Zimbabwe
%d bloggers like this: