With the Justice Department’s review of the Coroners Act well underway, former Deputy State Coroner HUGH DILLON argues that it’s time for an overhaul of how NSW investigates and reports on sudden or unexplained deaths.
About 6,500 sudden or unexplained deaths are reported to coroners in NSW each year. They are shocked and bewildered and going through some of the worst experiences of their lives. Most have no advocates, nor do they have a political voice.
The people whose deaths are reported to coroners come disproportionately from lower and middle socio-economic groups. Thousands of others, especially the police officers who attend the death scenes, also are profoundly affected by the deaths and how the coronial system manages them.