Simon Corbell is waving the flag for amendments to the Coroners Act so that we spend less money on suicides:
“A recent ACT Court Review of Coronial and Post Mortem Process and Practice found that more than 16% of ACT registered deaths underwent coronial investigation in 2011 – the second highest coronial death investigation rate in Australia. The review found that the two main factors contributing to this high rating were the reporting requirements relating to healthcare deaths and non-suspicious natural deaths being reported due to the lack of a cause of death certificate.”
The Government will introduce amendments to the Coroners Act 1997 tomorrow to ensure that only those deaths that warrant investigation and autopsy are subject to a coronial inquest.
“The goal here is to get the ACT coronial death investigation rate down to around 10% in line with the national average. Avoiding unnecessary coronial investigation is fundamental to respecting the dignity of deceased people and their families. Reducing the number of inquests should also mean a decrease in the time an inquest, when needed, will take,” Mr Corbell said.
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The Courts Legislation Amendment Bill also makes other important amendments to improve the criminal and civil justice systems in the ACT including to:
— reduce the double-handling of certain criminal offences by allowing summary offences related to serious indictable matters to be referred to the Supreme Court for determination at the same time as those matters; and
— relax the formal requirements for committal matters to provide more flexibility for the Magistrates Court to dispense with unnecessary requirements, and for the parties to be able to consent to a committal.