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Coroners Support Service

The Coroners Support Service provides legal and administrative support to coroners after the initial phase of the investigation is completed by staff at Coronial Admission & Enquiries and the person is released for the funeral.

The Coroners Support Service consists of coroners’ registrars, solicitors, court administration officers and family liaison officers who are the primary source of information and contact with the senior next of kin, families, interested parties, the public, police, health service providers and many other departments and agencies.

Coroners Support Service staff process a coroner’s directions and orders and ensure that relevant people or organisations complete them. This may include seeking further statements on behalf of the coroner, or organising medical expert opinions, or listing a case for hearing in open court.

They also regularly speak to Victoria Police, the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine (VIFM), hospitals, doctors and other government departments or agencies to ensure that any information required by the coroner is provided as soon as possible.

Providing information and updates to families through letters and phone calls is also a crucial function of the Coroners Support Service. Letters are sent to family members at key points during a coroner’s investigation. These letters provide updates regarding the cause of death, how the coroner intends to investigate and whether any further medical investigations are required.

Solicitors assist coroners with the coronial investigation by drafting legal documents and correspondence on behalf of the court, attending court hearings when required and communicating directly with families.

Registrars assist coroners with the coronial investigation by providing administration support, coordinating court hearings including inquests, direction hearings, mention hearings and the delivery of findings. They also attend court hearings when required and communicate directly with families.

Court administration officers assist the coroners by undertaking general administration, maintaining various records and registers and attending court hearings when required.

Family liaison officers assist coroners with investigations where families and witnesses require additional support during the coronial process. This includes delivering sensitive information on behalf of coroners and other stakeholders, helping families understand information contained within a coronial brief of evidence and providing support during court proceedings when needed.

Family liaison officers may also assist families and witnesses by providing referral information and advice for external counselling and support agencies who can assist with your grief and loss during this difficult time.