5.5 Coroners Court

The coroner will consider requests for media coverage in the same way as other courts.  Media are welcome to attend inquests and can expect to receive notification of upcoming inquests and should have findings released to them when available.

However, there may be restrictions on coverage in court, depending on the case and applications, which the coroner will announce at the start of the inquest.

If there are reporting restrictions on a finding, the restrictions will be stated in the finding.

Media should also be aware of the reporting restrictions required by the Coroners Act 2006 when it comes to self-inflicted deaths.

Deaths on or after 22 July 2016

It may be reported, broadcast or posted on the internet that a death is a suspected suicide before the coroner releases their finding.

If the coroner finds the person did commit suicide, the media and any member of the public can report, broadcast or post information that the death is a suicide.

People cannot make public:

  • the method or any suspected method of suicide or
  • any detail (for example, the place of death) that suggests the method or any suspected method of suicide.

Someone who publicises this information about a suicide without the coroner’s permission is committing an offence. They may be fined.

Information on applying to the Chief Coroner for an exemption from the reporting restrictions is available here.(external link)

Deaths before 22 July 2016

Usually, only the person’s name and age can be reported, broadcast or posted on the internet before the coroner releases their finding.

  • If the coroner finds the person did commit suicide, the media and any member of the public can ask for a copy of the coroner’s findings however people are limited to reporting, broadcasting or posting only:
  • the person’s name
  • their address
  • their occupation
  • that their death was suicide.

Someone who publicises anything else about a suicide without the coroner’s permission is committing an offence. They may be fined.

Sometimes, the coroner will release more information if it’s in the public interest.

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