What we do
Victorian families are at the centre of everything we do – from conducting thorough investigations, providing respectful services and how we share court information and documents.
Independently investigating deaths and fires
Certain deaths and fires are reported to the coroners for independent investigation. Their investigations seek to establish the facts – when, where, how and why the death or fire happened.
Reducing preventable deaths
Wherever possible, the coroner will suggest ways to prevent similar deaths or fires by making well informed and practical recommendations, based on the evidence before them.
Promoting public health and safety and the administration of justice
The court regularly reports on data and trends regarding preventable deaths in Victoria to help inform public health responses. The court’s functions, powers and obligations are detailed in the Coroners Act 2008.
We show integrity by consistently applying ethical and principled behaviour which reflects trust and honesty.
We show collaboration by working together with our stakeholders to achieve better results for the community.
We commit to the actions we take to achieve the best possible outcome for the Coroners Court of Victoria.
We show respect by considering others and treating them with dignity, empathy, sensitivity, and courtesy.
We strive to do our best to deliver quality service, focusing on improving the way we work within the court, to provide excellent services to the Victorian community.
A court that delivers outstanding service to the Victorian community and families who have lost loved ones.
Coronial services in Victoria
Victoria’s coroners are supported by coronial services delivered by a number of different organisations including the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine (VIFM), the Police Coronial Support Unit (PCSU) and the Donor Tissue Bank of Victoria.
To streamline coronial investigations, we are all co-located at the Coronial Services Centre in Southbank – away from the central courts precinct in the Melbourne CBD.
Among many important roles, VIFM supports coroners by:
- receiving notifications of reportable deaths
- taking deceased persons into the care of the court and managing the mortuary
- undertaking medical examinations, autopsies and toxicology as directed by a coroner
- providing expert reports on the cause of death for the investigating coroner.
PCSU also supports coroners by helping Victoria Police officers nominated to perform the role of the coroners’ investigators, compile a thorough coronial brief, as well as appearing as the coroner’s assistant at some inquests.
Our place in Victoria’s court system
The Coroners Court of Victoria is part of Court Services Victoria (CSV), a statutory authority established in July 2014 to protect and promote the independence of each of the courts and the judiciary.
As a distinct entity of CSV, the court is accountable directly to Parliament. While CSV provides and supports some administrative and corporate functions for the court, the state coroner is responsible for establishing how the business of the court is managed.
The Coroners Court of Victoria operates differently to other courts. Unlike other courts which are adversarial in nature, we have an inquisitorial jurisdiction. This means the court actively investigates the matters before it. Additionally, while all cases that come before the court are thoroughly investigated, the vast majority of matters do not proceed to a hearing in a courtroom. Rather, a finding is made ‘in chambers’.