Obtaining a Transcripted Record of Inquest
The Coroners (Inquests) Rules 2013 direct that all inquests must be recorded and a copy kept. After an inquest has concluded an interested person can ask the coroner for the recording of any inquest held in public (this includes pre-inquest review hearings). If any part of the inquest was held in private in the interests of national security the recording will not be disclosable. Either the coroner will provide a copy of the recording, or will allow “inspection” (where you are given an appointment to attend the coroner’s office to listen to the recording.) The coroner can charge for providing a copy of the recording after the inquest. If this is done on disc, the charge should be limited to £5 per recording or £5 per disc if there is more than one. There should be no charge for providing it by email [Reg 12 Coroners Allowances, Fees and Expenses Regulations 2013.] The coroner is entitled to edit out parts of the recording before it is disclosed, for example, where it could prejudice national security, put someone’s safety at risk or breach medical confidentiality. [Other examples are given in paragraph 13 of Chief Coroners Guidance No4 –Recordings- go to Guidance] Sometimes this cannot be done easily so a transcript is produced and edited before it is disclosed. The coroner can charge a fee for producing a transcript. Other people who are not interested persons can apply to the coroner for a copy of a record. The corner will decide on a case by case basis in his discretion whether the person is “a proper person to have possession of it” [Reg 27(2) Coroners (Inquests) Rules 2013.] Solicitors and Insurance companies should usually be given a copy. For anyone else the coroner needs to consider that there are reasonable grounds for giving a copy. The record of the inquest can be an invaluable tool. It can help lawyers to make an assessment of whether a civil claim could be brought (or defended), or, to assess whether there are grounds to seek a fresh inquest.
If you are a bereaved family or other interested person and need help and advice about obtaining evidence either during or after an inquest please contact Inquest Representation Service to speak to one of our lawyers on 033 00 77 00 97
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