Department of the Attorney General
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Office of the State Coroner

When a person dies apparently from non-natural causes or where the cause of death is not known, a doctor cannot issue a death certificate and the Coroner must be advised.

Once a report of death is received, usually from police, doctors or hospital authorities, the Coroner has legal control over the body of the deceased person, and he must establish the:

  • manner in which the death arose
  • cause of death
  • particulars needed to register the death
  • identity of the deceased.

All members of the WA Police Service are coroner's investigators and personnel from the Chemistry Centre (WA) and the Department of Health support the Coroner in the task of investigation.

An inquest is a court hearing presided over by a coroner. The hearing is usually open to the public. During an inquest, witnesses are called to give evidence to enable the coroner to make a finding into a death. Family of the deceased and people interested in the circumstances of a death may, at the Coroner's discretion, ask questions of witnesses or be represented by another person.

In recognition of the difficult and often painful circumstances that bring people into contact with the Coroner's Court, a Coronial Counselling Service has been established.

More information is available from the Coroner's Court website.

Contact details

Coroner's Court
Central Law Courts
Level 10, 501 Hay Street
PERTH WA 6000
Phone: (08) 9425 2900
Freecall: 1800 671 994
Fax: (08) 9425 2901

Coronial Counselling Service
Central Law Courts
Level 10, 501 Hay Street
PERTH WA 6000
Phone: (08) 9425 2900
Freecall: 1800 671 994
Fax: (08) 9425 2901

Coronial Inquiries
52 Kings Park Road
WEST PERTH WA 6004
Phone: (08) 9420 5200 (24 hours)
Fax: (08) 9324 1355

Last Updated: 24-Mar-2011

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