Coroners


The beginning of a pushback against Article 2 inquests?

24 November 2022 by

In R (Morahan) v HM Assistant Coroner for West London [2022] EWCA Civ 1410, the Court of Appeal robustly rejected a challenge to the earlier decision of the Divisional Court that Article 2 did not apply to drug related death of a voluntarily admitted psychiatric patient.

Photograph: Linda Nylind

The deceased had died in her own flat in July 2018 whilst under long-standing psychiatric care for schizophrenia. At the time she was a voluntary patient in a unit operated by the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust who had failed to return to the unit when expected She had a history of illicit drug taking but had been abstinent from drugs for many months before her death. She had failed to return to the unit when expected. As noted by the Lord Chief Justice (delivering the judgment of all the court) at [3] there was no basis for suggesting that she had taken her own life.


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High Court gives guidance on scope of article 2 inquests

28 June 2022 by

In R (Gorani) v HM Assistant Coroner for Inner West London [2022] EWHC1593 (QB), a Divisional Court comprising Macur LJ and Garnham J rejected on all grounds a wide-ranging challenge to the conduct of in inquest into a suicide. Of particular interest were the Court’s observations on the effect of a finding that the investigative duty under article 2, ECHR was engaged, and their clarification that a coroner does not need to hear submissions before refusing to make a ‘preventing future deaths’ report. That said, it is a broad and interesting judgment and deserves reading in full by those with an interest in coronial law.


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