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MPs to debate recommended reforms to the Coroner Service

25 October 2021

The Justice Committee’s report on the Coroner Service will be debated by MPs in a Westminster Hall Debate on Thursday 28 October. The Government’s response to the report, received last month, attracted criticism from several organisations. 

Published in May, the Committee’s report on the Coroner Service called for reforms to better support bereaved families at inquests, including non means tested funding for legal representation where a public authority is represented, and steps to deal with a shortage of pathologists. It also found ‘unacceptable variation’ in coroner standards across England and Wales and called for a unified National Coroner Service to address this. 

Leaders of eight charities and organisations wrote to the Secretary of State Dominic Raab this month to express disappointment at the Government’s response, raising further questions to be answered.  The Royal College of Pathologists said in a statement that the Ministry of Justice had ‘missed an opportunity’ by not accepting the Committee’s recommendations, adding that bereaved families will continue to experience a ‘fragmented, disjointed’ service.  

The Chair of the Justice Committee, Sir Bob Neill, is to lead the debate in Westminster Hall, the second Commons chamber.  

Westminster Hall debates 

Any MP can take part in a Westminster Hall debate. They give MPs an opportunity to raise local or national issues and receive a response from a government minister. The Justice Committee’s report was chosen as a topic for debate by the Liaison Committee – the committee of Select Committee Chairs.  

Further information

Image: PA