Legal

Coroner

Coroners ensure that all deaths, suspected deaths, fires and explosions are properly investigated.

  • Entry-level education

    Post-graduate qualification + professional registration

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Coroner do?

Coroners ensure that all deaths, suspected deaths, fires and explosions are properly investigated.

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Work activities

As a coroner, you would:

  • investigate all reported deaths to determine the cause
  • decide the cause of death by looking into all the available information
  • talk to other professionals involved such as the deceased's doctor
  • order a post-mortem examination if there are questions around the cause of death
  • if warranted, hold an inquest to determine the identity of the deceased, and how, when and where the person came by their death
  • notify the relevant authority of the results of any inquest held
  • write reports and make recommendations about public health or safety or the administration of justice, to help prevent similar deaths happening
  • make sure that all procedures, and all records, follow the law.
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Key skills and interests

To become a coroner, you would need:

  • open-minded about how events may have happened
  • able to break down events and evidence into smaller parts and explore them
  • aware of laws that you need to know and work with
  • able to explain difficult, legal and medical terms in an understandable way
  • tactful and sensitive when dealing with relatives of the deceased
  • able to think things through and make sensible decisions.
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Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

Most coroners work full time.

Conditions

A coroner is usually a magistrate of the local court in the State in which they are appointed.

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How to become an Coroner?

Entry Level Education

Coroners are magistrates, generally of the local court in the State in which they practise law. Magistrates are qualified lawyers with many years of experience hearing criminal cases in court.

To become a lawyer, you have to complete a degree in law at university. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent with English. Students are often advised to undertake a combined course that leads to two degrees. The prerequisite subjects required for entry into these combined courses also depend on the non-law component of the combined course.

To become a magistrate, you need to have practised as a lawyer for at least five years, as well as meeting other personal and professional criteria.

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Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

This is a highly specialised occupation. Coroners are appointed by the relevant court system in the jurisdiction in which they operate.

Population growth and the resulting potential increase in reportable deaths will likely provide continuing opportunities for those who wish to pursue this occupation.

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