Coroner's Inquests

In the event of a death, sadness and loss - or a sense of injustice - are made more challenging by the technicalities of a Coroner’s Inquest.

Helping You Understand

At the Alliance, our skilled and dedicated lawyers can help you understand the Inquest process, whether you are a family member of the deceased or have an interest in the outcome of the Inquest. We will work with you to ensure you fully understand the process and your right to participate in it.

Expertise at the Alliance

Our expertise includes both mandatory and discretionary inquests, and working with those who have a particular interest in the outcome of an inquest as well as the family members of a deceased person.

About a Coroner's Inquest

A Coroner’s Inquest is an investigation into a death. There are two types of Inquests: mandatory and discretionary.

  • Mandatory inquests are conducted pursuant to legislative requirements under the Coroner’s Act.
  • Discretionary inquests may be conducted where the Coroner determines that it would be in the public interest.

In Ontario, the Coroner is a medical doctor appointed to serve the community in which he or she lives.

A jury is empaneled to preside over an Inquest. They must answer five questions:

  1. Who was the deceased
  2. Where did the death occur
  3. When did the death occur
  4. How did the death occur (i.e. the medical cause) 
  5. By what means did the death occur (i.e. the classification of the manner of death).

An Inquest is not an adversarial process. It is an inquisitorial process designed to focus public attention on the circumstances of a death. The jury can also make recommendations to prevent deaths in similar circumstances.

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