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The Coroners Court of Victoria is a specialist court established to investigate certain types of deaths and fires. The purpose of these investigations is to consider ways that similar deaths and fires may be prevented in the future.
In Victoria, special categories of death must be reported to the court. These are called 'reportable deaths'. Coroners must also investigate another type of reportable death called 'reviewable deaths'.
Coroners must also investigate some fires, regardless of whether a death occurred.
The coroner's responsibility
Under the Coroners Act 2008, when a death is reported, the coroner investigating a death must find, if possible:
- the identity of the deceased
- how the death occurred
- the cause of death
- the details needed to register the death with the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
Under the Coroners Act 2008, a coroner investigating a fire must find, if possible:
- the cause of the fire
- the origin of the fire
In some cases the coroner may comment and make recommendations about public health or safety or the administration of justice aimed at helping to prevent similar deaths and fires from happening.
The Coroners Court of Victoria understand the impact coronial investigations may have on family and friends. As such, the court has Family Liaison Officers who can help by providing referral information and advice for external counselling and support agencies who can assist with grief and loss experiences.