Office of the Chief Coroner

Who is the Chief Coroner?

The Chief Coroner, an office created by the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, is head of the coroner system, providing national leadership for coroners in England and Wales.

The appointment of the Chief Coroner is made by the Lord Chief Justice in consultation with the Lord Chancellor. On 18 August 2016 the Lord Chief Justice, after consultation with the Lord Chancellor appointed His Honour Judge Mark Lucraft QC as the next Chief Coroner of England and Wales.

HHJ Lucraft QC’s appointment took effect on 1 October 2016. He takes over from His Honour Judge Peter Thornton QC who retired as Chief Coroner on 30 September 2016

Judge Mark Lucraft was called to the Bar in 1984 and in practice at the Bar until his appointment to the Circuit Bench in July 2012.  He was appointed a Recorder in 2003. He was authorised to sit as a Deputy High Court Judge under Section 9(1) on 22 November 2016, and appointed a Senior Circuit Judge at the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey) on 7 February 2017 sitting on criminal matters as well as undertaking his work as Chief Coroner.

For more information read Frequently Asked Questions about the Chief Coroner and the Coroner Service

The role of the Chief Coroner

The Chief Coroner has a number of roles but his main responsibilities will be to:

  • Provide support, leadership and guidance for coroners in England and Wales;
  • Set national standards for all coroners, including new inquest rules;
  • Oversee the implementation of the new provisions of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009;
  • Put in place suitable training arrangements for coroners and their staff;
  • Approve coroner appointments;
  • Keep a register of coroner investigations lasting more than 12 months and take steps to reduce unnecessary delays;
  • Monitor investigations into the deaths of service personnel;
  • Oversee transfers of cases between coroners and direct coroners to conduct investigations;
  • Provide an annual report on the coroner system to the Lord Chancellor, to be laid before Parliament;
  • Monitor the system where recommendations from inquests are reported to the appropriate authorities in order to prevent further deaths.

Contact the Office of the Chief Coroner

11th Floor – Thomas More Building
Royal Courts of Justice


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