vgso.vic.gov.au

Coronial Inquests and Investigations

We have extensive experience acting on behalf of the Victorian government departments and agencies in coronial inquiries and investigations. We work collaboratively with clients to advise and support them through challenging and often sensitive matters. Our understanding of the complex nature of government and the legal coronial framework enables us to provide strategic advice to support clients through the process. We also assist our clients in understanding the ramifications of findings and recommendations.

Our experience ranges from fires, police contact deaths, deaths in custody, and other deaths where prevention opportunities are investigated. VGSO can assist in:

  • providing information relevant to a coronial investigation on behalf of a Government department or agency
  • representing Government departments and agencies who are interested parties at an inquest
  • preparing and supporting Government employees who are called to give evidence at an inquest hearing
  • assisting Government departments and agencies in responding to and implementing coronial recommendations

Our team has significant experience in coronial inquests and the workings of the Coroners Court. We use this experience to inform our strategy and approach. We understand that key drivers include identifying prevention opportunities, and improving systems and processes where appropriate.

  • We understand the context of coronial inquiries and inquests in a government environment and can provide strategic guidance through many of the delicate issues that are raised in inquires and inquests.

    We understand the technical and complex nature of the work that our clients perform as well as the legal, political and public relations implications.

  • We have a detailed understanding of the Coroners Act 2008 (the Act) which enables us to balance  client strategic considerations against the legislative mandate that the coronial system should operate in a fair and efficient manner and that unnecessary duplication of inquiries and investigations should be avoided.

  • We have systems and processes that enable us to prepare the State’s witnesses to give the best evidence they can give. We work with senior departmental and agency witnesses to prepare them and this may include:

    • Working with agency and department teams to build a comprehensive written brief.
    • Conducting conferences with the witness, their support team and Counsel. Our conferences are tailored to the needs and preferences of each witness, ensuring we provide as much or as little preparation as they require.

Reviewed 29 July 2021

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