Changes designed to increase the diversity of coroners and competition for positions, have been announced by new Justice Minister Shailesh Vara.
The plans mean legal executives will be allowed to become coroners for the first time, increasing the pool of potential applicants. Currently only solicitors and barristers are eligible for appointment as coroners.
The change is the latest in a series of reforms designed to modernise the coroner system and make sure that bereaved people get the best possible service. New national standards were put in place earlier this year and the Chief Coroner, HHJ Peter Thornton QC, has been appointed to oversee the system and drive improvement.
Justice Minister Shailesh Vara said:
“By opening up the coroners system to Legal Executives we are increasing diversity and better reflecting society.
“This reform will help us continue to create a modern coroner service, which better meets the needs of bereaved people.”
Fellows of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEX) will be eligible to apply for vacant coroner positions under the proposals, which will now be considered by Parliament and could come into effect in the next few months.
CILEX fellows can already apply for other judicial appointments such as deputy district judge and tribunal judge.