Coroner and inquests


The coroner’s office investigates deaths and suspected deaths in the Northern Territory (NT) on behalf of the community.

The types of deaths the coroner will investigate are called reportable deaths.

As well as deaths, the coroner may inquire into disasters where public safety is substantially endangered.

The coroner decides whether or not to hold a public inquest into death – this is a public court hearing.

Decisions are available to the public. They are published on the Coroner’s decision page on the Department of the Attorney General and Justice website.

What is a reportable death

A reportable death means the death may be any of the following:

  • appears to have been unexpected, unnatural or violent
  • appears to have resulted, directly or indirectly from an accident or injury
  • occurred during an anaesthetic or as a result of an anaesthetic and is not due to natural causes
  • occurred when a person was held in, or immediately before death, was held in care or custody
  • was caused or contributed to by injuries sustained while the person was held in custody
  • of a person whose identity is unknown
  • in certain other circumstances.

Report a death to the coroner

Usually a police officer or medical practitioner will notify the coroner of any reportable death.

Every person has a duty to do so if they believe the coroner may not have been informed.

If you don’t provide information about a death you could be charged with a criminal offence.

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Last updated: 28 May 2015

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