Coroners Court > The role of the Coroner


In what circumstances must a death be reported to the Coroner?

Doctors, healthcare professionals, emergency service workers and police are under a statutory obligation to report the following deaths to the Coroner:

  • the death was violent or unnatural (for example, homicide, suicide, drug, alcohol and poison related deaths)​

  • The death was sudden and the cause of it unknown

  • the death resulted, directly or indirectly, from an accident or injury, even if there is a prolonged interval between the incident and death (for example, drownings; deaths caused by a traumatic event such as a motor vehicle accident)

  • the death occurred during or following a health-related procedure where the death is or may be causally related to the procedure and a registered medical practitioner would not, immediately before the procedure was u​ndertaken, have reasonably expected the death

  • a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death has not been signed and is not likely to be signed (for example, where an opinion about the probable cause of death cannot be formed)

  • the deceased had not been attended by a doctor in the last six months

  • the deceased was in, temporarily absent from or residing at a declared mental health facility within the meaning of the Mental Health Act 2007 for the purpose of receiving care, treatment or assistance

  • the identity of the deceased in not known

  • the death occurred in custody

  • the death occurred as a result of, or in the course of, a police operation

  • the deceased was a child in care to whom a report has been made about them or a sibling in the 3 years preceding their death to the Department of Family and Community Services;

  • the deceased was living in, or temporarily absent from,​ an authorised residential centre for persons with a disability.